Layla Moran Portrait

Layla Moran

Liberal Democrat - Oxford West and Abingdon

Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (International Development)

(since September 2020)

Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)

(since September 2020)
Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Education)
16th Jun 2017 - 7th Sep 2020
Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
21st Aug 2019 - 6th Jan 2020
Public Accounts Committee
11th Sep 2017 - 6th Nov 2019


Scheduled Event
Wednesday 8th September 2021
14:30
Westminster Hall debate - Westminster Hall
8 Sep 2021, 2:30 p.m.
Ending rough sleeping
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Department Event
Tuesday 26th October 2021
11:30
Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office
Oral questions - Main Chamber
26 Oct 2021, 11:30 a.m.
Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (including Topical Questions)
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Note: This event involves a Department with which this person is linked, and does not guarantee their actual attendance.
Division Votes
Wednesday 9th June 2021
Protecting the Public and Justice for Victims
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 11 Liberal Democrat Aye votes vs 0 Liberal Democrat No votes
Tally: Ayes - 223 Noes - 0
Speeches
Tuesday 20th July 2021
Cyber-attack: Microsoft

It is absolutely right that we are working in lockstep with our international allies to combat these attacks on our …

Written Answers
Wednesday 28th July 2021
NHS: Software
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent estimate he has made of the average …
Early Day Motions
Thursday 22nd July 2021
Spennylympics event 2021
That this House gives its best wishes to Stuart Bates and Charlotte Nichols for Spennylympics - an event that will …
Bills
Monday 21st June 2021
Palestine Statehood (Recognition) Bill 2021-22
A Bill to make provision in connection with the recognition of the State of Palestine.
MP Financial Interests
Monday 28th June 2021
8. Miscellaneous
From 3 June 2021, Member of the International Centre of Justice for Palestinians (ICJP)’s Advisory Board. The ICJP’s principal objective …
EDM signed
Wednesday 21st July 2021
Political prisoners in Belarus
That this House believes there to be 570 political prisoners in Belarus; notes the credible reports of prisoners facing extreme …
Supported Legislation
Wednesday 5th February 2020
Education (Guidance about Costs of School Uniforms) Act 2021
A Bill to make provision for guidance to schools about the costs aspects of school uniform policies.

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Layla Moran has voted in 247 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Layla Moran Division Votes

Debates during the 2019 Parliament

Speeches made during Parliamentary debates are recorded in Hansard. For ease of browsing we have grouped debates into individual, departmental and legislative categories.

Sparring Partners
James Cleverly (Conservative)
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
(18 debate interactions)
Dominic Raab (Conservative)
Foreign Secretary and First Secretary of State
(18 debate interactions)
Nigel Adams (Conservative)
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
(17 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Department for Education
(21 debate contributions)
Department of Health and Social Care
(20 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(13 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Layla Moran's debates

Oxford West and Abingdon Petitions

e-Petitions are administered by Parliament and allow members of the public to express support for a particular issue.

If an e-petition reaches 10,000 signatures the Government will issue a written response.

If an e-petition reaches 100,000 signatures the petition becomes eligible for a Parliamentary debate (usually Monday 4.30pm in Westminster Hall).

Petitions with most Oxford West and Abingdon signatures
Petition Debates Contributed

The Government must make a public statement on the #kissanprotests & press freedoms.

India is the worlds largest democracy & democratic engagement and freedom of the press are fundamental rights and a positive step towards creating a India that works for all.


Latest EDMs signed by Layla Moran

22nd July 2021
Layla Moran signed this EDM as the primary signatory on Thursday 22nd July 2021

Rise in antisemitic hate crime

Tabled by: Layla Moran (Liberal Democrat - Oxford West and Abingdon)
That this House condemns the appalling rise in antisemitism in the weeks during and after the devastating escalation of violence in Israel and Palestine; notes with concern that the Community Security Trust (CST) recorded 628 antisemitic hate incidents between 8 May and 7 June 2021; regrets that is the highest …
1 signatures
(Most recent: 22 Jul 2021)
Signatures by party:
Liberal Democrat: 1
22nd July 2021
Layla Moran signed this EDM as the primary signatory on Thursday 22nd July 2021

Spennylympics event 2021

Tabled by: Layla Moran (Liberal Democrat - Oxford West and Abingdon)
That this House gives its best wishes to Stuart Bates and Charlotte Nichols for Spennylympics - an event that will be partially held in the Oxford West and Abingdon constituency; wishes them the very best of luck as they try to complete every single Olympic event over the course of …
1 signatures
(Most recent: 22 Jul 2021)
Signatures by party:
Liberal Democrat: 1
View All Layla Moran's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Layla Moran, and are more likely to reflect personal policy preferences.

MPs who are act as Ministers or Shadow Ministers are generally restricted from performing Commons initiatives other than Urgent Questions.


3 Urgent Questions tabled by Layla Moran

Wednesday 10th March 2021
Thursday 12th November 2020
Wednesday 13th May 2020

Layla Moran has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

8 Bills introduced by Layla Moran


A Bill to make provision in connection with the recognition of the State of Palestine.


Last Event - 1st Reading (Commons)
Monday 21st June 2021
Next Event - 2nd Reading (Commons)
Friday 18th March 2022

A Bill to repeal the Vagrancy Act 1824.


Last Event - 1st Reading (Commons)
Wednesday 18th March 2020

A Bill to require the Secretary of State to publish guidance for state-funded schools on allowing pupil access to toilets during lessons; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading (Commons)
Tuesday 3rd March 2020

A Bill to repeal section 15A of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading (Commons)
Monday 22nd June 2020

The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress. A Bill to amend the Requirements for School Food Regulations 2014 to further restrict the serving of foods high in fat, salt or sugar in schools and to require all school meals to be free of added sugar by 2022; to require all publicly-funded schools to adhere to those standards; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Monday 22nd July 2019
Next Event - 2nd Reading: House Of Commons
Date TBA

The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress. A Bill to require school uniform policies to be gender-neutral; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Wednesday 6th March 2019

The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress. A Bill to make provision in connection with the recognition of the State of Palestine.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Wednesday 21st November 2018

The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress. Repeal the Vagrancy Act 1824


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Wednesday 7th February 2018
(Read Debate)
Next Event - 2nd Reading: House Of Commons
Date TBA

12 Bills co-sponsored by Layla Moran

Education (Guidance about Costs of School Uniforms) Act 2021 - Private Members' Bill (Ballot Bill)
Sponsor - Mike Amesbury (LAB)

International Development (Women’s Sanitary Products) Bill 2019-21 - Private Members' Bill (Presentation Bill)
Sponsor - Wendy Chamberlain (LDEM)

Prime Minister (Confidence) Bill 2017-19 - Private Members' Bill (Presentation Bill)
Sponsor - Tom Brake (LDEM)

Plastic Pollution Bill 2017-19 - Private Members' Bill (Presentation Bill)
Sponsor - Alistair Carmichael (LDEM)

Gender-based Pricing (Prohibition) Bill 2017-19 - Private Members' Bill (Presentation Bill)
Sponsor - Christine Jardine (LDEM)

Plastics Bill 2017-19 - Private Members' Bill (Presentation Bill)
Sponsor - Geraint Davies (LAB)

Parental Leave and Pay Arrangements (Publication) Bill 2017-19 - Private Members' Bill (Presentation Bill)
Sponsor - Jo Swinson (LDEM)

House of Peers Bill 2017-19 - Private Members' Bill (Presentation Bill)
Sponsor - Christine Jardine (LDEM)

European Union Withdrawal (Evaluation of Effects on Health and Social Care Sectors) Bill 2017-19 - Private Members' Bill (Presentation Bill)
Sponsor - Brendan O'Hara (SNP)

Local Electricity Bill 2017-19 - Private Members' Bill (Presentation Bill)
Sponsor - Jeremy Lefroy (CON)

Local Health Scrutiny Bill 2017-19 - Private Members' Bill (under the Ten Minute Rule)
Sponsor - Gareth Snell (LAB)

Voyeurism (Offences) Bill 2017-19 - Private Members' Bill (Presentation Bill)
Sponsor - Wera Hobhouse (LDEM)


477 Written Questions in the current parliament

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
5 Other Department Questions
15th Jul 2021
To ask the hon. Member for Broxbourne, representing the House of Commons Commission, whether the House of Commons Commission has discussed any plans for a commemoration for Members and staff as part of a memorial day for those who have lost their lives to covid-19.

The Commission has not considered this. However, the Speaker has asked the Speaker’s Chaplain to liaise with St Margaret’s Church to develop a memorial service for the parliamentary community to take part in for those who have lost their lives to Covid. The service will take place in autumn if public health advice continues to allow church services and gatherings at that point.

13th Apr 2021
To ask the Prime Minister, how many discussions he has had with leaders of other nations where a readout has not been provided to the media following the event to date.

As has been the case under successive Administrations, Prime Ministers will speak to their international counterparts on a range of issues.

Boris Johnson
Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, and Minister for the Union
1st Mar 2021
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what discussions she has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer regarding tailored financial support for the wraparound holiday childcare sector to ensure women have adequate childcare support.

I refer the Hon. Member to the answer given to PQs 147072 and 148867 answered on 22 February 2021.

Kemi Badenoch
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
10th Feb 2021
What discussions she has had with the Secretary of State for the Home Department on barriers to support for migrant women domestic abuse survivors.

This Government is committed to supporting all victims of domestic abuse, regardless of their immigration status. That is why, in December 2020, we launched a £1.5m support for Migrant Victims package, to provide access to safe accommodation and support for those with no recourse to public funds.

Throughout development of our scheme we have responded to concerns about potential barriers to support for migrant victims of domestic abuse, including by adapting the duration of the scheme and its linked prospectus.

Kemi Badenoch
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
8th Jul 2020
To ask the hon. Member for Perth and North Perthshire, representing the House of Commons Commission, what the cost to the public purse was of (a) securing, (b) heating, and (c) lighting empty offices on the Parliamentary Estate while (a) staff and (b) hon. Members were instructed to work from home due to the covid-19 outbreak.

At all times the estate has been kept safe and secure and able to support Parliamentary business as required.

It is not possible to provide a specific breakdown of costs relating to empty offices during this period. The following comparison against a similar period last year has been produced. Reductions in usage may not be solely related to Covid-19.

March – May 2019

March – May 2020

Reduction (units)

Approx. Reduction (£)

Natural Gas kWh

8,560,187

6,670,501

1,889,686

£29,725

Electricity kWh

7,196,453

6,328,062

868,392

£95,459

Water m3

48,313

14,294

34,019

£63,490

£188,674

Pete Wishart
Shadow SNP Leader of the House of Commons
16th Jul 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 15 April 2021 to Question 179464, what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of the his Department's work to (a) address specific concerns from ethnic minority groups regarding coronavirus vaccines and (b) amplify NHS voices publicising the use of religious sites as vaccination centres to date.

I refer the hon. Member to the answers given to PQ 33512 on 21 April 2020, and to PQ 40655 on 11 May 2020.

Since the vaccination programme began, the Cabinet Office has worked closely with communications teams in local authorities to promote vaccine uptake, particularly to communities with lower vaccine take-up. Support has included the commissioning of translated materials, the deployment of upweighted advertising in specific areas, and the use of multi-lingual local community street teams to share information about the available vaccines.

Through the Community Champions scheme councils and voluntary organisations will deliver a wide range of measures to protect those most at risk - building trust, communicating accurate health information and ultimately helping to save lives. MHCLG has allocated over £23 million of funding to 60 councils and voluntary groups across England to expand work to support those most at risk from COVID-19 and boost vaccine uptake.

Julia Lopez
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
15th Jul 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what estimate he has made of the number of (a) civil servants who have been absent from work due to long covid and (b) working days that have been lost as a result since March 2020.

During the pandemic, employees (including civil servants) were advised to work from home where possible. From 19 July 2021, employees are no longer instructed to work from home and government departments, similar to other employers, are starting to plan for employees to gradually return to the workplace.

The Cabinet Office has not currently made any estimates of the number of civil servants who have been absent from work or working days lost due to long COVID across the Civil Service.

However, the Civil Service continues to improve its approach to health and wellbeing for all employees, assisting them to access the support they need. A range of best practice support is available including Occupational Health, Workplace Adjustments, Part Time on Medical Grounds and COVID-19 Supporting Attendance guidance.

Julia Lopez
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
22nd Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs' Written Statement of 21 April 2021 on UK Official Development Assistance departmental allocations 2021-22, Official Report, HCWS935, how much of the Official Development Assistance funding allocated to the Conflict, Stability and Security Fund within Open societies and conflict resolution is allocated to (a) Ukraine, (b) Yemen, (c) Somalia, (d) Myanmar, (e) Afghanistan, (f) Sudan and (g) South Sudan.

The Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs’ Written Ministerial Statement of 21 April 2021 sets out the FCDO departmental ODA programme budget allocations. It does not include Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF) allocations.

The total CSSF allocation for Financial Year 2021/22 is £874m. CSSF regional and thematic level allocations for 2021/22 will be confirmed to Parliament in a Written Ministerial Statement later in the year.

Penny Mordaunt
Paymaster General
19th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 19 April 2021 to Question 180587 on Prime Minister: Disclosure of Information, how many discussions he has had with leaders of other nations where a readout has (a) been and (b) not been provided to the media following the event.

As has been the case under successive Administrations, Prime Ministers will speak to their international counterparts on a range of issues. There will be occasions where it is in the national interest that such discussions are confidential.

Penny Mordaunt
Paymaster General
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of marketing campaigns designed to help tackle vaccine hesitancy among ethnic minority groups.

I refer the hon. Member to the answers given to PQ 33512 on 23 March 2020, and PQ 144854 on 1 February 2021.

The Cabinet Office has addressed specific concerns from ethnic minority groups such as vaccine ingredients and amplified NHS voices publicising the use of religious sites as vaccination centres. Working with the Cabinet Office, vaccine communications from DHSC have appeared in 600 national, regional, local and specialist titles, including media for Asian, Bangladeshi, Bengali, Gujarati and Pakistani communities.

Julia Lopez
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 26 June 2020 to Question 60651 on Renewable energy, what plans his Department has to install solar panels and wind turbines on its buildings in the next five years.

The Government is committed to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050. This includes taking action to increase the use of renewable energy across the Government estate. Where this relates to solar panels and wind turbines on buildings occupied by the Cabinet Office, active consideration will be given to installation.

Julia Lopez
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
10th Jul 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what the cost to the public purse has been of private photographers for 10 Downing Street in each of the last 12 months.

During the course of the year, 10 Downing Street hosts a number of events to celebrate the work of charities and mark initiatives such as Black History Month, NHS workers, Police Bravery, Pride, International Women’s Day and Girls’ Education. As part of this a freelance photographer is occasionally engaged for the primary purpose of taking photographs of the guests attending; these photographs are then shared with them after the event. This is since there are security restrictions on personal photography by guests. The cost of this over the last 12 months has been £5,100.


Given the Hon. Member's interest in freelance photography, I also refer her to the answer to 28 November 2011, Official Report, Column 733W, by her Rt Hon Friend, the Member for Kingston and Surbiton.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
8th Jul 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many taxis and private hire cars were taken by Ministers; at what cost to the public purse; and what the average length of journey taken was since 2018.

The full details of the information requested are not held centrally. Cabinet Office policy states that staff, and Ministers, should travel by the most efficient means of transport, and that public transport should be used where possible and appropriate.

Details of ministerial overseas travel are published regularly.

Julia Lopez
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
8th Jul 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many Ministers have used first class travel since 2018; and what the cost to the public purse was of those journeys.

The full details of the information requested are not held centrally. Cabinet Office policy states that staff, and Ministers, should travel by the most efficient means of transport, and that public transport should be used where possible and appropriate.

Details of ministerial overseas travel are published regularly.

Julia Lopez
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
23rd Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of money spent by the Government on opinion polling in relation to covid-19 (a) overall and (b) in each of the last six months.

I refer the Hon. member to the answer given to PQs 62462, 62463 and 62562 on 25 June 2020.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
20th May 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what the cost to the public purse was of consultants advising his Department in each financial year from 2017-18 to 2020-21.

Spend on external consultants is published in our Annual Report and Accounts. These are available on gov.uk.

Details of spend over £25,000 are also published on gov.uk.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
14th Jan 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office whether the social media team in his office has contacted an MP about the existence of anti-Government messages displayed by children in schools (a) since the 2019 general election, (b) in the last six months and (c) in the last year.

The social media team does not engage with MPs on these matters.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans his Department has to rectify the £120 million gap between the allocations and commitments of Official Development Assistance funding provided by his Department to UKRI.

The challenging financial situation we face due to the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in a temporary reduction in the UK’s aid spending target from 0.7% of GNI to 0.5%. This means making difficult decisions when it comes to prioritising how we spend aid money to deliver the most impactful outcomes.

On 2nd December last year, my Rt. Hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary wrote to the Chair of the International Development Committee setting out the Strategic Framework for UK ODA, which details the UK’s foreign aid spending priorities. In line with these priorities, he confirmed each Department’s total ODA settlement on 26th January.

The Government recognises the importance of supporting international research partnerships and supporting the UK research sector. My Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer committed to increasing UK investment in R&D to £14.6 billion in 2021/22 in this recent Budget.

We are currently working with UKRI, and all our Global Challenges Research Fund and Newton Fund Delivery Partners, to manage the Financial Year 2021/22 ODA allocations. UKRI have written to their award holders to set out the process for reviewing ODA funding next year, and to explore options for individual programmes. (Full details have been published on the UKRI website).

Amanda Solloway
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of the reduction in Official Development Assistance funding allocated to UKRI on ongoing coronavirus vaccine development.

The challenging financial situation we face due to the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in a temporary reduction in the UK’s aid spending target from 0.7% of GNI to 0.5%. This means making difficult decisions when it comes to prioritising how we spend aid money to deliver the most impactful outcomes.

The Government recognises the importance of supporting international research partnerships, and supporting the UK research sector. Our commitment to research and innovation has been clearly demonstrated by my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer’s Budget announcement of increasing investment in R&D across government to £14.6bn in 2021/22; and as has been set out in our Integrated Review ambitions, international collaboration is central to a healthy and productive R&D sector.

We are currently working with UKRI, and all our Global Challenges Research Fund and Newton Fund Delivery Partners, to manage the financial year 2021/22 ODA allocations. UKRI have written to many award holders setting out the next stage of the review of ODA funding next year, and to explore options for individual programmes. (Full details have been published on the UKRI website).

Amanda Solloway
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the statement entitled Official Development Assistance: Foreign Secretary's statement on 26 November 2020, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of the reduction in Official Development Assistance funding allocated to UKRI on his Department's ability to meet the 7 global challenges outlined in his statement.

The challenging financial situation we face due to the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in a temporary reduction in the UK’s aid spending target from 0.7% of GNI to 0.5%. This means making difficult decisions when it comes to prioritising how we spend aid money to deliver the most impactful outcomes.

The Government recognises the importance of supporting international research partnerships, and supporting the UK research sector. Our commitment to research and innovation has been clearly demonstrated by my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer’s Budget announcement of increasing investment in R&D across government to £14.6bn in 2021/22; and as has been set out in our Integrated Review ambitions, international collaboration is central to a healthy and productive R&D sector.

We are currently working with UKRI, and all our Global Challenges Research Fund and Newton Fund Delivery Partners, to manage the financial year 2021/22 ODA allocations. UKRI have written to many award holders setting out the next stage of the review of ODA funding next year, and to explore options for individual programmes. (Full details have been published on the UKRI website).

Amanda Solloway
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the statement entitled Official Development Assistance: Foreign Secretary's statement on 26 November 2020, what assessment his Department has made of effect of the reduction in Official Development Assistance funding allocated to UKRI on his Department's ability to its stated goals relating to science, research and technology.

The challenging financial situation we face due to the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in a temporary reduction in the UK’s aid spending target from 0.7% of GNI to 0.5%. This means making difficult decisions when it comes to prioritising how we spend aid money to deliver the most impactful outcomes.

The Government recognises the importance of supporting international research partnerships, and supporting the UK research sector. Our commitment to research and innovation has been clearly demonstrated by my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer’s Budget announcement of increasing investment in R&D across government to £14.6bn in 2021/22; and as has been set out in our Integrated Review ambitions, international collaboration is central to a healthy and productive R&D sector.

We are currently working with UKRI, and all our Global Challenges Research Fund and Newton Fund Delivery Partners, to manage the financial year 2021/22 ODA allocations. UKRI have written to many award holders setting out the next stage of the review of ODA funding next year, and to explore options for individual programmes. (Full details have been published on the UKRI website).

Amanda Solloway
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of the reduction in Official Development Assistance on UK Research and Innovation.

The Government recognises the importance of supporting international research partnerships, and supporting the UK research sector. Our commitment to research and innovation has been clearly demonstrated by my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer’s Budget announcement of increasing investment in R&D across government to £14.6bn in 2021/22, and as has been set out in our Integrated Review ambitions, international collaboration is central to a healthy and productive R&D sector.

We are working with UKRI and all our Global Challenges Research Fund and Newton Fund Delivery Partners to manage the impact of next year’s ODA allocation.

Amanda Solloway
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
8th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many businesses in (a) Oxford West and Abingdon constituency, (b) the Thames Valley region, (c) England and (d) the UK have called the EU Business Helpline in each of the last 12 months.

The Business Support Helpline operates in England and provides a range of support and advice to pre-start, and established businesses. This support includes advice following the UK’s exit from the EU. Businesses in the Devolved Administrations can access similar services within their country.

In the last 12 months (Feb 2020 to Jan 2021) the Business Support Helpline has received over 76,000 calls from individuals and businesses.

During the same period, for the Thames Valley area, the service has handled over 800 contacts from individuals and businesses.

Statistics are gathered by each Local Authority, rather than by constituency. However, in the same period the service handled 99 customers from the Oxford City Council area; 93 customers in the Vale of White Horse area; and 87 customers in West Oxfordshire.

The individual data can be seen in the attached tables.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
1st Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what effect the 30 per cent reduction in his Department’s Official Development Assistance allocation will have on the Government’s ringfenced climate change and R&D funding commitments.

The difficult finance situation we face due to the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in a temporary reduction in the UK’s aid spending target from 0.7% of GNI to 0.5%.

ODA allocations for all departments were determined in light of this by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, in consultation with HM Treasury, and with regard to wider commitments including the R&D ringfence. The Government’s commitment to research and innovation is clearly demonstrated through the recently published R&D Roadmap, and the £400m uplift in R&D spending announced in the Spending Review.

The Department remains committed to supporting my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister’s pledge to double the UK’s International Climate Finance to £11.6bn between 2021/22 and 2025/26, and we will deliver ambitious programmes to support both this commitment and the Prime Minister’s recent pledge to spend £3bn of our climate finance on nature. This significant uplift of our climate finance sets a clear benchmark for the international community towards COP26 and beyond.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Clean Growth)
16th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs on the potential effect of the reduction in the Official Development Assistance budget on the UK’s commitment to global research and innovation.

The Government remains committed to international development and will continue to provide £10 billion of Official Development Assistance (ODA) in 2021-22.

The UK’s scientific excellence makes it a partner of choice for many international collaborations. The Government continues to support this excellence through its work towards a 2.4% of GDP investment in R&D by 2027. This has most recently been demonstrated in the £400m uplift to R&D funding announced by my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer in the Spending Review for financial year 2021/2022. International collaboration is?a?central feature of a healthy and productive?R&D sector.

Amanda Solloway
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
16th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the effect of the reduction in the Official Development Assistance budget on the UK’s reputation as a partner of choice in international research and development projects.

The Government remains committed to international development and will continue to provide £10 billion of Official Development Assistance (ODA) in 2021-22.

The UK’s scientific excellence makes it a partner of choice for many international collaborations. The Government continues to support this excellence through its work towards a 2.4% of GDP investment in R&D by 2027. This has most recently been demonstrated in the £400m uplift to R&D funding announced by my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer in the Spending Review for financial year 2021/2022. International collaboration is?a?central feature of a healthy and productive?R&D sector.

Amanda Solloway
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
16th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the effect of the reduction in the Official Development Assistance on the UK’s ambition to support research to tackle (a) climate change, (b) biodiversity loss and other global challenges.

The Government remains committed to international development and will continue to provide £10 billion of Official Development Assistance (ODA) in 2021-22to fight poverty, tackle climate change and improve global health.

The Government’s commitment to research and innovation is clearly demonstrated through the recently published R&D Roadmap, and the £400m uplift in R&D spending announced in the Spending Review. International collaboration is a central feature of a healthy and productive R&D sector.

We are committed to doubling UK’s International Climate Finance (ICF) to £11.6bn in the years 2021-2025. Our ICF helps to reduce deforestation and carbon emissions, for instance through our £200m+ investment to support green recovery across Africa, Asia and Latin America since June 2020.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Clean Growth)
16th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs on the potential effect of the reduction in Official Development Assistance on the UK’s support for the development of an international research culture to address (a) climate change, (b) biodiversity loss and (c) other global challenges.

The Government remains committed to international development and will continue to provide £10 billion of Official Development Assistance (ODA) in 2021-22 to fight poverty, tackle climate change and improve global health.

The Government’s commitment to research and innovation is clearly demonstrated through the recently published R&D Roadmap, and the £400m uplift in R&D spending announced in the Spending Review International collaboration is central feature of a healthy and productive R&D sector.

We recently reaffirmed our commitment to doubling UK’s International Climate Finance to £11.6bn in the years 2021-2025. The UK plays a crucial role in addressing the global challenge of climate change, responding to the needs of developing countries.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Clean Growth)
14th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether the UK's energy supply will be interrupted in the event of no deal of UK-EU trade relations at the end of the transition period.

The UK’s exit from the EU does not alter the fact that our energy system is resilient and secure, and UK energy is supplied from diverse sources.

We have planned extensively for the end of the transition period, alongside National Grid and industry, to ensure electricity and gas demands are met. Electricity and gas will continue to flow over interconnectors between the UK and the EU at the end of the transition period in any scenario.

The forecast electricity margin for this winter is healthy, at 4.8GW or 8.3% additional generation. The forecast gas margin for this winter is also healthy, at around 79 million cubic metres or 15% more supply than would be required to meet demand on the coldest day in 20 winters.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
17th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will make an assessment of the UK’s historic carbon emissions.

BEIS publishes estimates of greenhouse gas emissions in the UK each year, with historical data on a consistent basis. The latest estimates going back to 1990 and including a provisional 2019 estimate can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/provisional-uk-greenhouse-gas-emissions-national-statistics-2019. They show that an estimated 435 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2e) were emitted in 2019 in the UK, down from 794 MtCO2e in 1990.

In addition, estimates of carbon dioxide emissions in the UK since 1970 are available in table 4 in the data tables accompanying the final 2018 greenhouse gas estimates: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/final-uk-greenhouse-gas-emissions-national-statistics-1990-to-2018. The estimates for 1970 to 1989 do not include all of the sources of carbon dioxide emission included for 1990 onwards and estimates for other greenhouse gases are not available before 1990.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
17th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to account for carbon emissions in the UK’s overseas infrastructure projects.

The Department spends overseas development assistance (ODA) on infrastructure programmes through its International Climate Finance (ICF).

The aim of the ICF is to support developing countries to respond to the challenges and opportunities of climate change, including reducing greenhouse gas emissions through initiatives such as the UK Sustainable Infrastructure Programme. All ICF programmes are assessed against an analytical framework which includes taking account of the impact on emissions in developing countries. The latest ICF results publication estimates that across HMG, ICF programmes have reduced or avoided 31 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions between 2011/12 and 2019/20, and will deliver much greater savings over their lifetimes (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-climate-finance-results).

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
17th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether his Department plans to ensure that employees can not be lawfully dismissed from their job as a result of long term covid-19 symptoms.

Employees with the necessary qualifying service who consider that they have been dismissed unfairly may complain to an employment tribunal. The case of an employee who has been dismissed as a result of health issues clearly demands special consideration. For example, a tribunal will expect the employer to have considered whether there was suitable alternative work available. Employees may also be able to seek redress through the civil courts or employment tribunals if their dismissal breaches the terms of their contracts, for instance, because the employer has failed to comply with provisions relating to sickness absence.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 7 July 2020 to Question 65917 on Renewable energy, what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of spending on solar PV energy by his Department compared to conventional energy sources.

The annual maintenance cost for the solar PV array for 2020 at the Department’s headquarters building at 1 Victoria Street, London is £955.00. Costs dating back earlier than this are unavailable as maintenance of the solar PV array formed part of a wider maintenance package.

The Department has spent the following amounts on electricity at 1 Victoria Street in the past two years and in 2020/21 to date. Data earlier than this is currently inaccessible.

Year

2018/19

2019/20

2020/21

Electricity cost

£564,336.89

£613,067.94

£112,779.51*

*Data for 2020/21 is for April – June inclusive

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 25 June 2020 to Question 60652 on Renewable energy, what plans his Department has to install more solar panels and wind turbines on its buildings in the next five years.

At present, the Department has no plans to install additional solar panels or wind turbines at its headquarters building at 1 Victoria Street in the next five years. As part of the Department’s drive to reduce its impact on the environment and achieve net zero by 2050 at the latest, we are working with our contractors to identify the best route to sustainable energy supply.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
8th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many business owners from BAME backgrounds have received loans under the Bounce Back Loans Scheme.

As of 7 June, 782,246 loans have been approved under the BBLS, with a total value of £23.78 billion.

Capturing information relating to business ownership by ethnicity is at the discretion of the lender and will also be up to the business owner.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many air miles were accumulated by (a) Ministers, (b) special advisers and (c) civil servants in his Department in (i) the last six months and (ii) each calendar year since 2015.

All air flights for the Department must be booked through the Crown Commercial travel management system and do not provide personal rewards. The Departmental expenses policy, which applies to special advisers as well as civil servants, sets out that air miles and similar benefits earned through official travel should not be used for private purposes.

Similar arrangements for Ministers are set out in the Ministerial Code; if it is impractical to use benefits for Government travel, Ministers may donate air miles to charity if permissible under the terms of the airline’s scheme and the charity is chosen by the airline.

Information on accumulated air miles is not readily available and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
25th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how many private hire cars his Department has used since 2015; how long each journey was; and what the cost was of those journeys to the public purse.

The information requested is not held centrally and to obtain it would incur a disproportionate response.

Caroline Dinenage
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, on what date all university students will be able to return to campus and resume in-person teaching.

Following the review into when the remaining higher education students can return to in-person teaching and learning, the government has announced that the remaining students should return to in-person teaching no earlier than 17 May 2021, alongside Step 3 of the roadmap. Students and institutions will be given at least a week’s notice of any further return in accordance with the timing of Step 3 of the roadmap.

The government roadmap is designed to maintain a cautious approach to the easing of restrictions to reduce public health risks and ensure that we can maintain progress towards full reopening. However, the government recognises the difficulties and disruption that this may cause for many students and their families and that is why the government is making a further £15 million of additional student hardship funding available for this academic year 2020/21. In total we have made an additional £85 million of funding available for student hardship.

We are supporting universities to provide regular twice weekly asymptomatic testing for all students and staff on-site and, from May, at home. This will help break chains of transmission of the virus.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the range of rates paid to agencies by local authorities was for children's social care workers in (a) the South-East and (b) England in each of the last five years.

The Department for Education holds the policy responsibility for children’s social care, while local authorities hold the duty to deliver children’s social care services, employ child and family social workers and make decisions about social worker renumeration. The department does not collect nor hold data from local authorities on child and family social worker pay, including on agency pay rates.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate he has made of the value of unused apprenticeship levy funding returned to the Government by (a) Oxfordshire County Council and (b) employers in each of the last five years.

The funds in apprenticeship service accounts are available for levy-paying employers to use for 24 months before they begin to expire on a rolling, month-by-month basis. Employers began to pay the apprenticeship levy in April 2017 and levy funds began to expire in May 2019.

Due to taxpayer confidentiality, we are unable to publish the amount that individual employers have contributed through the apprenticeship levy or the amount of funds that have been spent or have expired.

For all employers in England, the total value of expired levy funds between May 2019 and April 2020 was £847 million. From May 2020 to February 2021, the latest period for which figures are available, the total value of expired levy funds is £1,039 million.

Employers are able to use all of the funds in their apprenticeship service accounts to support apprenticeships in their own or others’ businesses. Levy paying employers can transfer up to 25% of the annual value of funds in their apprenticeship service accounts to other employers. We are simplifying the transfers process, enabling employers to make strategic decisions over where their levy funds are spent. From August 2021, employers will be able to pledge funds for transfer, and we will introduce a new national online matching service, making it quicker and simpler for levy-payers to find employers that share their business priorities to transfer funds to.

We do not anticipate that all employers who pay the levy will need or want to use all the funds available to them, but they are able to do so if they wish. Funds raised by the levy are used to support the whole apprenticeship system. Employers’ unused funds are available to support apprenticeships in smaller employers who do not pay the levy and to cover the ongoing costs of apprentices who began training prior to the introduction of the levy.

We are again making available £2.5 billion for investment in apprenticeships in the 2021-22 financial year, which is double that spent in 2010-11.

Gillian Keegan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
15th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that all universities in England adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism.

The government has asked all English higher education (HE) providers registered with the Office for Students (OfS) to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism. The IHRA definition is an important tool in tackling antisemitism. Adopting this widely recognised definition sends a strong signal that HE providers take these issues seriously. My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, wrote to HE leaders most recently in October 2020 to reiterate the importance of the definition and to urge all providers to consider adopting it.

The government is pleased to report that at least 91 providers have now adopted the definition, with many more preparing to adopt. The decision on adoption of the definition rests with individual providers, but the government will continue to urge them to adopt the definition and ensure that HE is a genuinely fulfilling and welcoming experience for everyone.

I am proud that so many providers have taken a positive step towards eradicating antisemitism by adopting the IHRA definition, but further progress is still needed to stamp it out. This is why, in my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education’s most recent strategic guidance letter to the OfS, the government asked the OfS to undertake a scoping exercise, to identify providers which are reluctant to adopt the definition. The letter asked them to consider introducing mandatory reporting of antisemitic incident numbers by providers, with the aim of ensuring a robust evidence base, which the OfS can then use to effectively regulate in this area.

The Secretary of State also asked the OfS to ensure that, if antisemitic incidents do occur at a provider, they should consider if it is relevant in a particular case whether the provider has adopted the IHRA definition when considering what sanctions, including monetary penalties, would be appropriate to apply.

We will continue to work across government to ensure that racism and religious hatred of any kind is not tolerated anywhere, including in our world-leading universities.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
1st Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the implications of the Department of Education’s recent survey of wraparound care providers that are registered under Ofsted for (a) his policies and (b) UK businesses.

We fully recognise that ensuring there is sufficient wraparound childcare in the future is crucial for working parents, as well as vulnerable children and young people, both in the short and longer-term, when more parents and carers start returning to workplaces. We also recognise that this will impact upon UK businesses which is why, on 26 January 2021, we issued a survey to up to 2,000 Ofsted registered providers nationwide.

The objectives of the survey were to gain a better understanding of how providers of wraparound childcare have been affected by the national COVID-19 restrictions and, in particular, the most recent lockdown announced on 4 January 2020, to establish what this means for the provision they are currently offering. This analysis of this data is in progress and will help inform the department’s ongoing response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

In addition, since June 2020, we have been in close communication with various stakeholders, including several wraparound providers, to understand the specific challenges that they face, and to determine how we can most effectively support the sector to ensure that adequate wraparound childcare provision remains in place for those most in need.

We recognise the value the wraparound childcare sector offers in terms of supporting children and young people’s general wellbeing and the positive effects it can have on their mental health through the enriching social opportunities it provides. Given the valuable support this sector can provide, the government has ensured that before and after-school clubs, holiday clubs, and other out-of-school settings have been able to stay open for all children eligible to attend school on-site, and during the national lockdown for vulnerable children and young people, as well as the children of critical workers. We have also published protective measures guidance for the sector, to ensure they can offer this provision as safely as possible, which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/protective-measures-for-holiday-or-after-school-clubs-and-other-out-of-school-settings-for-children-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak. In addition, we have a full roadmap to reopening, as set out in ’COVID response – Spring 2021’, available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-response-spring-2021.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
11th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many broadband routers have been distributed by his Department to school pupils in Oxford West and Abingdon constituency since 1 March 2020 as part of the Department's programme to help pupils, students and families access remote education during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government is investing over £400 million to support access to remote education and online social care services, including securing 1.3 million laptops and tablets for disadvantaged children and young people. This significant injection of laptops and tablets is on top of an estimated 2.9 million already owned by schools before the start of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The laptops and tablets are to help support schools, academy trusts and local authorities to provide access to remote education and online social care. Schools, colleges, academy trusts and local authorities are responsible for distributing the laptops and tablets and are best placed to know which children and young people need access to a device.

As of Monday 15 February 2021, over one million laptops and tablets have been delivered to schools, academy trusts, local authorities and further education providers. We are making further deliveries all the time and expect to achieve our overall commitment of delivering 1.3 million devices by the end of the spring term.

We have partnered with the UK’s leading mobile operators to provide free data to help disadvantaged children get online as well as delivering 60,000 4G wireless routers for pupils without connection at home.

Figures on the number of devices already delivered are available here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/laptops-and-tablets-data. These figures are broken down by local authority and academy trust. Figures by constituency are not available.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
11th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many laptops have been distributed by his Department to school pupils in Oxford West and Abingdon constituency since 1 March 2020 as part of the Department's programme to help pupils, students and families access remote education during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government is investing over £400 million to support access to remote education and online social care services, including securing 1.3 million laptops and tablets for disadvantaged children and young people. This significant injection of laptops and tablets is on top of an estimated 2.9 million already owned by schools before the start of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The laptops and tablets are to help support schools, academy trusts and local authorities to provide access to remote education and online social care. Schools, colleges, academy trusts and local authorities are responsible for distributing the laptops and tablets and are best placed to know which children and young people need access to a device.

As of Monday 15 February 2021, over one million laptops and tablets have been delivered to schools, academy trusts, local authorities and further education providers. We are making further deliveries all the time and expect to achieve our overall commitment of delivering 1.3 million devices by the end of the spring term.

We have partnered with the UK’s leading mobile operators to provide free data to help disadvantaged children get online as well as delivering 60,000 4G wireless routers for pupils without connection at home.

Figures on the number of devices already delivered are available here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/laptops-and-tablets-data. These figures are broken down by local authority and academy trust. Figures by constituency are not available.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
1st Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many lateral flow tests bought for schools are left over as a result of the change in the school testing strategy.

Test kits delivered at the start of January 2021 continue to be used for regular testing of staff as well as for one off testing of pupils who are attending school (vulnerable children and the children of critical workers) as they returned to their institution. Additional test kits are supplied when individual settings run out.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
1st Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans his Department has to redistribute surplus lateral flow tests that have been allocated to schools.

Test kits delivered at the start of January continue to be used for regular testing of staff as well as for one off testing of pupils who are attending school (vulnerable children and the children of critical workers). Additional test kits are supplied when individual schools run out.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether the free school meals voucher scheme will continue to be available to eligible children during the January 2021 covid-19 lockdown.

During the period of national lockdown, schools should continue to provide meal options for all pupils who are in school. Meals should be available free of charge to all infant pupils and pupils who are eligible for benefits-related free school meals who are in school.

Schools should also continue to provide free school meal support to pupils who are eligible for benefits related free school meals and who are learning from home. Extra funding will be provided to support schools to provide food parcels or meals to eligible children. Where schools cannot offer food parcels or local alternatives, the national voucher scheme is in place so that every eligible child can access free school meals during the national lockdown.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
25th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to help into employment apprentices who have had their graduations delayed due to the covid-19 outbreak.

We are committed to supporting apprentices and employers to safely continue with, and complete, their programmes during the COVID-19 outbreak while maintaining quality.

We have worked closely with the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education and Ofqual to introduce flexibilities to 120 apprenticeships to mitigate the effects of disruption caused by the COVID-19 outbreak to end-point assessment. It is this assessment which certifies an apprentice has achieved occupational competence and completed the apprenticeship. Flexibilities include remote assessment where practicable, 12-week extensions to the time limit for completion, and relaxation of the order in which elements can be taken, and these have now been extended until March 2021. We continue to review the flexibilities in place to ensure high-quality assessment can continue and to support apprentices to take the next-steps in their careers. Apprentices are employed throughout the duration of their apprenticeship, but we have also made it possible for apprentices made redundant during COVID-19 to continue to take their end-point assessments and have introduced support to help them find a new employer.

Provisional figures show that 46,930 apprentices achieved their apprenticeships (frameworks and standards) between March 23 and the end of July this year.

Gillian Keegan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
23rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 23 November 2020 to Question 909081, how many education settings in the lateral flow covid-19 testing pilot for schools are in (a) Oxford West and Abingdon constituency, (b) Oxfordshire and (c) England; and in which schools those pilots are planned to take place.

Pilots have begun in a small number of schools and colleges using new Lateral Flow Devices that deliver a fast, on-site result. This will help us better understand how this new technology can be operationalised to protect those at high risk, find COVID-19 cases, and help enable us to go back to as normal a way of life as possible.

Schools currently involved in the pilots are located in: Poole, Lewisham, Salisbury, Hammersmith and Fulham, Kent, Blackburn with Darwen, Newcastle upon Tyne, Manchester, Birmingham, and West Sussex. There are currently no pilots taking place in educational settings in Oxfordshire.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
23rd Nov 2020
What steps he is taking with the Secretary of State for Health and Social care to deploy lateral flow covid-19 tests in (a) schools and (b) other education settings.

The Government is piloting the use of lateral flow tests in education settings. This will help us better understand how this new technology can be operationalised to protect those at high risk, find the virus and help enable us to go back to as normal a way of life as possible. Establishing this mass testing capability, with fast turn-around times, should allow students to continue their studies safely and minimise the risk of virus transmission in our communities.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to help improve the delivery of financial education in primary schools.

Education on financial matters helps to ensure that young people are prepared to manage their money well, make sound financial decisions, and know where to seek further information when needed. In 2014, for the first time, financial literacy was made statutory within the National Curriculum as part of the citizenship curriculum for 11 to 16 year olds.

We also introduced a rigorous Mathematics curriculum, which provides young people with the knowledge and financial skills to make important financial decisions. The Government has published statutory programmes of study for Mathematics and citizenship that outline what pupils should learn about financial education from Key Stages One to Four.

In the primary Mathematics curriculum, there is a strong emphasis on the essential arithmetic that pupils should have. This knowledge is vital, as a strong understanding of numeracy and numbers will underpin the pupils’ ability to manage budgets and money, including, for example, percentages. There is also some specific content about financial education, such as calculations with money.

We trust teachers to use their professional judgement and understanding of their pupils to develop the right teaching approach for their particular school, drawing on the expertise of subject associations and organisations such as Young Money.

Schools should have resumed teaching an ambitious and broad curriculum in all subjects from the start of the autumn term. This means that all pupils will be taught a wide range of subjects, so they can maintain their choices for further study and employment. Our latest guidance on teaching to support children is set out here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools.

Our £1 billion COVID-19 catch-up package, with £650 million shared across schools over the 2020/21 academic year, will support education settings to put the right catch-up support in place. Information about our COVID-19 catch-up package is found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/billion-pound-covid-catch-up-plan-to-tackle-impact-of-lost-teaching-time.

The Education Endowment Foundation have published a COVID-19 support guide to support schools to direct this funding. Information about our COVID-19 support guide is found here: https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/covid-19-resources/national-tutoring-programme/covid-19-support-guide-for-schools/#closeSignup.

For the longer term, the Department will continue to work closely with The Money and Pension Service and HM Treasury, to consider how to provide further support for the teaching of financial education in schools.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the contribution of the provision of financial education from a young age to reducing the additional economic pressures experienced by households as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

Education on financial matters helps to ensure that young people are prepared to manage their money well, make sound financial decisions, and know where to seek further information when needed. In 2014, for the first time, financial literacy was made statutory within the National Curriculum as part of the citizenship curriculum for 11 to 16 year olds.

We also introduced a rigorous Mathematics curriculum, which provides young people with the knowledge and financial skills to make important financial decisions. The Government has published statutory programmes of study for Mathematics and citizenship that outline what pupils should learn about financial education from Key Stages One to Four.

In the primary Mathematics curriculum, there is a strong emphasis on the essential arithmetic that pupils should have. This knowledge is vital, as a strong understanding of numeracy and numbers will underpin the pupils’ ability to manage budgets and money, including, for example, percentages. There is also some specific content about financial education, such as calculations with money.

We trust teachers to use their professional judgement and understanding of their pupils to develop the right teaching approach for their particular school, drawing on the expertise of subject associations and organisations such as Young Money.

Schools should have resumed teaching an ambitious and broad curriculum in all subjects from the start of the autumn term. This means that all pupils will be taught a wide range of subjects, so they can maintain their choices for further study and employment. Our latest guidance on teaching to support children is set out here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools.

Our £1 billion COVID-19 catch-up package, with £650 million shared across schools over the 2020/21 academic year, will support education settings to put the right catch-up support in place. Information about our COVID-19 catch-up package is found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/billion-pound-covid-catch-up-plan-to-tackle-impact-of-lost-teaching-time.

The Education Endowment Foundation have published a COVID-19 support guide to support schools to direct this funding. Information about our COVID-19 support guide is found here: https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/covid-19-resources/national-tutoring-programme/covid-19-support-guide-for-schools/#closeSignup.

For the longer term, the Department will continue to work closely with The Money and Pension Service and HM Treasury, to consider how to provide further support for the teaching of financial education in schools.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
20th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what guidance his Department provides to schools on the rights of children with British National (Overseas) status to school places.

All children who live in the UK are eligible for a school place in England irrespective of their nationality.

The UK has offered a new route to full citizenship to British Nationals (Overseas) (BNO(S)) and their dependants. This means that those BN(O) families taking advantage of this offer and moving to the UK will be able to access a state-funded or independent school place for their children on the same basis as every other family in the UK. Those BN(O) families who choose not to avail themselves of our migration offer, and who remain in Hong Kong, will, as now, be able to send their children to the UK to access an independent school place under the UK study visa rules.

Advice to state-funded school admission authorities is contained within the School Admissions Code, which can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/school-admissions-code--2. We also provide specific advice to admission authorities on the rights of overseas pupils to access a school place on the following website: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/schools-admissions-applications-from-overseas-children.

We sent a bulletin to schools in England on 14 October containing information about changes to the immigration system which said: ‘Schools should continue to offer places to foreign national children who are resident in the United Kingdom.’

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 1 July 2020 to Question 60654 on Renewable energy, what plans his Department has to install solar panels and wind turbines on its buildings in the next five years.

The Government Property Agency (GPA) does not currently have funded plans for the installation of solar panels and wind turbines on Department for Education buildings.

However, GPA has a Net Zero Programme in development to support the following UK Government targets:

  • To reduce the UK’s net emissions of greenhouse gases by 100% relative to 1990 levels by 2050, making UK a ‘Net Zero’ emitter.
  • To have at least a 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions across the public sector estate by 2032 (against a 2017 baseline).

GPA has committed to the following objectives for the Government Office Portfolio:

  1. Improve energy efficiency (reduce consumption/ improve thermal efficiency)
  2. Use green energy (decarbonise)
  3. Generate and store green energy (locally)
  4. Reduce embodied carbon (in construction)

In order to meet objective 3, GPA is currently assessing opportunities for the local generation and storage of green energy on Government Office Portfolio buildings, which may include solar panels and wind turbines.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
15th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department taken to ensure greater accessibility to support and guidance for parents with children under five years old.

It is vitally important that we do all we can to help parents to support their children’s learning at home during the COVID-19 outbreak.

We know that the Home Learning Environment is crucial for child development. There are a wealth of resources available for parents which can be accessed through the government’s Hungry Little Minds website which can be found at:
https://hungrylittleminds.campaign.gov.uk/.

We are working with our partners to ensure that we give parents the best support we can to help their children’s learning at home. We have also published guidance for parents about how to support their child’s development at home during the COVID-19 outbreak which can be found at:
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/help-children-aged-2-to-4-to-learn-at-home-during-coronavirus-covid-19.


Guidance for parents and carers on the opening of early years settings is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/what-parents-and-carers-need-to-know-about-early-years-providers-schools-and-colleges-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will allocate additional funding to 16-19 education providers as part of the covid-19 catch-up plan for students.

My right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister, announced a £1 billion support package for schools to help pupils catch up on lost teaching time.

We also announced on 20 July that we will be providing a one-off, ring-fenced grant of up to £96 million for colleges, sixth forms and all 16 to 19 providers, to provide small group tutoring activity for disadvantaged 16 to 19 students whose studies have been disrupted.

Many further education providers are already open for some learners, including those who are 16 to 19 and adults, subject to the required safety measures being met. From autumn 2020, all learners, including those who are 16 to 19 and adults will return to a full high-quality education programme delivered by their college or post-16 learning provider.

Colleges should plan on the basis that, from September 2020, all learners will return to a full high-quality education programme.

Gillian Keegan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many laptops have been distributed to children learning from home in each local authority; and what the average time taken was to distribute those laptops.

The Government has provided laptops and tablets to disadvantaged children who would otherwise not have access and are preparing for examinations in year 10, receiving support from a social worker, or are a care leaver. Where care leavers, children with a social worker at secondary school and children in year 10 do not have internet connections, the Government has also provided 4G wireless routers.

The Department has delivered laptops, tablets and 4G wireless routers to local authorities and academy trusts based on the Department’s estimates of the number of eligible children that do not have access to a device. Local authorities and academy trusts are best placed to identify children and young people who need devices and prioritise their needs.

The Department has published information about how many laptops, tablets and 4G wireless routers have been delivered to local authorities and academy trusts in total, which can be viewed here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/laptops-tablets-and-4g-wireless-routers-progress-data. As of the end of June, over 202,000 laptops and tablets and over 47,000 4G wireless routers had been delivered to local authorities and academy trusts. It is taking, on average, 1.3 days from receipt of an order to the devices being dispatched to a local authority or academy trust.

The Department will be publishing data on devices delivered to each local authority and academy trust shortly.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
8th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions he has had with supply teaching agencies on (a) furlough and (b) income support for supply teachers over the 2020 summer holidays.

As both my right hon. Friends, the Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer have made clear, the Government will do whatever it takes to support people affected by COVID-19.

The Government has provided clear guidance on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme in relation to agencies and agency workers. This guidance can be accessed here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-which-employees-you-can-put-on-furlough-to-use-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme#agency-workers-including-those-employed-by-umbrella-companies.

Schools are under no obligation to continue to pay supply teachers that they directly hire or hire via agencies once the supply teacher’s contract has ended. Typically, supply teachers are not contracted to work over the summer holidays when schools are closed.

Supply teachers employed via an agency who had previously been furloughed via the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme for at least 3 consecutive weeks, taking place any time between 1 March 2020 and 30 June, can continue to be furloughed until the scheme ends on 31 October, so long as their employer chooses to continue to furlough them.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
1st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when he plans to publish updated guidance on enabling regulated childcare settings which operate outside school hours to reopen for (a) children of key workers and (b) all children.

The department has published guidance for providers who run community activities, holiday clubs, after-school clubs, tuition and other out-of-school provision for children over the age of 5. It sets out the safety measures that must be in place to ensure they can operate over the summer holiday. The guidance is available at:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/protective-measures-for-holiday-or-after-school-clubs-and-other-out-of-school-settings-for-children-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak.

This follows confirmation from my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister, that from Saturday 4 July, these providers can operate over the summer holiday, with safety measures in place.

While schools are open in a provider’s local area, providers of these settings should follow the same protective measures as schools to limit different groups of children mixing. This means that if a setting opens before the end of the 2020 summer term, they should ensure they are:

  • only caring for children from the eligible groups (children in early years, Reception, year 1 and year 6) and priority groups (children of critical workers and vulnerable children);
  • only caring for children from one school or early years provider; and
  • working closely with the school or early years providers that their children attend, to ensure that, as far as possible, children are kept in the same small consistent groups that they are in throughout the day, and otherwise maintain social distance.

When state schools in a local area have closed for the summer term, out-of-school settings must operate in line with the published guidance and children of all ages and mixed schools may attend out-of-school settings in that area.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
25th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many private hire cars his Department has used since 2015; how long each journey was; and what the cost of those journeys were to the public purse.

The table below provides the information requested relating to the use of private hire cars by the Department since 2015.

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

Totals

No. of Private Hire Cars

3568

3313

3525

4576

3576

959

19,517

Rental Days

5416

4870

5094

6817

5160

1373

28,730

Total Annual Mileage

1,217,012

1,156,713

1,373,307

2,249,283

1,702,628

683,244

8,382,187

Total Cost

£208,766

£189,879

£205,389

£263,760

£198,893

£52,110

£1,118,797

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
25th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the ability of (a) refugee and (b) asylum seeker children to access (i) laptops and (ii) the internet during partial school closures during the covid-19 outbreak; and what steps his Department is taking to tackle the disadvantage gap in relation to those children.

The Government has committed over £100 million to support vulnerable and disadvantaged children in England to access remote education and social care services, including by providing laptops, tablets and 4G wireless routers.

We are providing laptops and tablets to disadvantaged children who would otherwise not have access and are preparing for examinations in year 10, those receiving support from a social worker and care leavers. This includes looked after children, including unaccompanied asylum seeking children. It also includes former unaccompanied asylum seeking children who are now care leavers. Where care leavers, children with a social worker at secondary school and children in year 10 do not have internet connections, we are providing 4G wireless routers.

The Department has ordered over 200,000 laptops and tablets and allocated devices to local authorities and academy trusts based on its estimates of the number of eligible children that do not have access to a device. Local authorities and academy trusts are best placed to identify and prioritise children and young people who need devices. This may include children in families who are refugees or who are seeking asylum. The Department is working to provide these devices in the shortest possible timeframe; deliveries to schools and local authorities began in May and have continued throughout June.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
24th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the risk from schools fully reopening of a small chain of covid-19 infection in schools leading to a wider outbreak; and if he will publish the advice he has received from SAGE on that matter.

We want to get more children back to school because it is vital for their education and their wellbeing. As such the Government has announced that all children will return to school from September.

On 2 July we published guidance to help schools plan for a full return of all pupils in the Autumn term:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools

The measures set out in this guidance provide a framework for head teachers to put in place proportionate protective measures for children and staff, which also ensure that all pupils receive a high quality education that enables them to thrive and progress. In welcoming all children back this Autumn, schools will be asked to minimise the number of contacts that a pupil has during the school day as part of implementing the system of controls outlined in the guidance to reduce the risk of transmission. If schools follow the guidance set out, they can be confident they are managing risk effectively.

The guidance also includes the process that should be followed if anyone develops COVID-19 symptoms while at school. This guidance has been developed with advice from, and is endorsed by, Public Health England.

SAGE publish papers from their meetings on a regular basis on the SAGE website. The list of papers released to date is available by following the link below, including several schools-related papers. This list will be updated to reflect papers considered at future meetings:

https://www.gov.uk/government/groups/scientific-advisory-group-for-emergencies-sage-coronavirus-covid-19-response.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
24th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many days teachers have taken off work for mental health reasons in each year since 2015.

The information requested is not held centrally.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
24th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many local authorities offer a school clothing grant.

In England, some local authorities provide discretionary grants to help with buying school uniforms. The local authorities which offer these grants set their own criteria for eligibility. The Department does not collect figures on the number of local authorities that offer uniform grants. In addition, schools may also offer individual clothing schemes, such as offering secondhand uniform at reduced prices; this would be a decision for the school to make.

No school uniform should be so expensive as to leave pupils or their families feeling unable to apply to, or attend, a school of their choice, due to the cost of the uniform. As such the Department supports the Education (Guidance about Costs of School Uniforms) Private Members’ Bill, to make our guidance regarding the cost considerations for school uniform statutory.

The Department’s current non-statutory guidance is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/school-uniform.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
24th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to ensure future covid-19 outbreaks in schools can be contained; and if he will make it his policy to introduce a comprehensive test, trace and isolate strategy for schools.

The new NHS Test and Trace service was launched on 28 May across England. Anyone who tests positive for coronavirus will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace and will need to share information about their recent interactions. The government has recruited 25,000 contact tracers, able to track 10,000 new cases a day.

If a child or young person in school develops symptoms compatible with COVID-19, they should be sent home and advised to self-isolate for 7 days and arrange to have a test. Where the child or young person tests positive, traced close contacts, including the rest of their class, should be sent home and advised to self-isolate for 14 days

As part of the national test and trace programme, local Public Health England health protection teams will contact all schools attended by someone who tests positive for COVID-19. The health protection team will work with the school to carry out a rapid risk assessment and advise of any further action that needs to be taken.

In some cases, a larger number of children may be asked to self-isolate at home as a precautionary measure. Where schools are observing guidance on infection prevention and control to reduce the risk of transmission, closure of the whole school will not generally be necessary and should not be considered outside of discussion with health protection teams.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
23rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many schools in England are in (a) financial deficit (a) and have been in financial deficit in each of the past five years.

The Department delegates to schools the management of their own budgets and the vast majority are operating with a cumulative surplus, with only a small percentage having a deficit. The latest published figures show 94% of academy trusts and 90% of local authority-maintained schools are in cumulative surplus or breaking even.

Data on maintained school deficits in financial year 2019/20 is not yet available. We will publish this data in December. The table below shows the number of maintained schools in cumulative deficit in each of the four preceding financial years. This data is published at:
https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/la-and-school-expenditure-2018-to-2019-financial-year.

2015/16

2016/17

2017/18

2018/19

Number of maintained schools in deficit

1,000

1,461

1,532

1,376

Trusts are the legal entities responsible for academies, including their finances, and, therefore, they account at trust level. The table below shows the number of academy trusts in cumulative deficit in each of the five previous academic years. We have published this data annually in the academies sector annual report and accounts (SARA) since 2015-16, which is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/academies-sector-annual-reports-and-accounts.

The provisional 2018/19 figure in the table is based on financial benchmarking data, available at https://schools-financial-benchmarking.service.gov.uk/Help/DataSources. This will be updated when the 2018/19 SARA is published in July.

2015/16

2016/17

2017/18

2018/19

Number of academy trusts in deficit

165

185

195

169

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
23rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 4 May 2020 to Question 41160 on Assessments: Coronavirus, if he will publish the feedback from stakeholders on the range of options available to his Department on the Reception Baseline Assessment.

The Department has listened to the feedback from stakeholders about the difficult circumstances faced by schools in the context of COVID-19 and the particular impact this has had on schools preparedness for the implementation of the Reception Baseline Assessment (RBA) in September 2020.

Taking into account that feedback, the Department has confirmed that the statutory implementation of the RBA will be postponed until autumn 2021. Instead, schools have the option of taking part in the RBA early adopter year and can sign up to participate via a survey sent to all eligible schools. The Department remains committed to implementing the RBA.


Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the KiVa anti-bullying programme on tackling (a) bullying and (b) racist bullying.

We have not made an assessment of the KiVa anti-bullying programme. All schools are legally required to have a behaviour policy with measures to prevent all forms of bullying. They also have the freedom to develop their own anti-bullying strategies and monitoring approaches to best suit their environment.

Our Preventing and Tackling Bullying guidance sets out that schools should develop a consistent approach to monitoring bullying incidents and evaluating the effectiveness of their approaches. It also directs schools to organisations who can provide support with tackling bullying related to race, religion and nationality. The guidance is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/preventing-and-tackling-bullying.

On 7 June, we announced more than £750,000 for the Diana Award, the Anti-Bullying Alliance and the Anne Frank Trust – to help hundreds of schools and colleges build relationships between pupils, boost their resilience, and continue to tackle bullying both in person and online. More information is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/extra-mental-health-support-for-pupils-and-teachers.

The department has also made resources available through the Educate Against Hate website. This website provides teachers, school leaders and parents with the information, guidance and support they need to challenge radical views, including racist and discriminatory beliefs, and is available here:
https://educateagainsthate.com/.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will take steps with the Education Endowment Foundation to help ensure that none of the National Tutoring Programme volunteer tutors are unpaid interns.

The National Tutoring Programme, worth £350 million, was recently announced as part of a £1 billion COVID-19 “catch-up” package to directly tackle the impact of lost teaching time and will increase access to high-quality tuition for the most disadvantaged young people.

We will be working closely with the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) to identify high quality tutoring organisations and support them to ramp up their recruitment of tutors.

The EEF will select high-quality tutoring organisations that meet agreed criteria. These organisations will have differing models - some may use volunteers to deliver tutoring sessions to pupils, while others will pay tutors. Dedicated coaches that are based in schools will all receive a salary.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will meet with (a) teachers, (b) headteachers, (c) relevant experts, (d) unions and (e) opposition politicians in the coming days to achieve a consensus on a national plan for the reopening of schools.

The Department will continue to work with a wide range of sector representatives to develop a plan for all children to return to schools in September. This engagement includes meetings with teachers and headteachers through the Department for Education’s reference groups; meetings with expert advisors from the sector; meetings with scientific experts; meetings with teaching and support staff unions; and engaging with politicians from across the political spectrum.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether the additional £650 million of funding for school catch-up plans, announced on 19 June 2020, is derived from funding reallocated within his Department or additional funding allocated to his Department.

Children and young people have experienced unprecedented disruption to their education during lockdown. The Government has therefore announced a package of support for schools to help children and young people make up for lost teaching time, with extra support in the form of a tutoring programme for those who need it most.

The universal catch up premium will provide £650 million to help schools make up for lost teaching time. We are currently working with HM Treasury to finalise funding arrangements for the £1 billion catch-up package.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the press release entitled Billion pound Covid catch-up plan to tackle impact of lost teaching time, published on gov.uk on 19 June 2020, what steps he is taking to help ensure that head teachers have the autonomy to make decisions on how the £650 million for primary and secondary schools is spent.

Schools are receiving a £650 million catch up premium to make up for the education that has been lost due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The Education Endowment Foundation has published a COVID-19 recovery guide to support school leaders and staff. It provides guidance and information on the most effective strategies to catch up on lost education, and will allow schools to decide on how to best use this funding to support their pupils and their outcomes. The guidance can be found here: https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/covid-19-resources/covid-19-support-guide-for-schools/.

We know that each school will have different needs as a result of this outbreak and we trust headteachers to make the appropriate decisions for their students to ensure that this money is spent wisely.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what (a) estimate he has made of the proportion and (b) assessment he has made of the adequacy of BAME representation among (a) pastoral and (b) disciplinary staff in the education system.

The Department for Education does not collect data on pastoral and disciplinary staff within the School Workforce Census. The School Workforce Census captures data for non-teaching staff, auxiliary staff, teaching assistants and support staff, as well as for classroom teachers and leadership roles.

BAME teachers represented 9% of the teaching population in state funded schools in November 2018. 9% of classroom teachers, 6% of deputy and assistant headteachers and 4% of headteachers came from BAME backgrounds


11% of non-teaching staff were from a BAME background in November 2018. This was 12% for auxiliary staff and 11% for both teaching assistants and other support staff.

This data is available in Tables 5 and 6 of the publication, School Workforce in England, 2018, available here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/school-workforce-in-england-november-2018

Information for 2019 data was published on the 25 June 2020.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
19th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he has made an assessment of the potential merits of increasing the percentage of students further education establishments are allowed to readmit following the covid-19 outbreak.

The guidance on how to phase the return of learners in further education is underpinned by our latest understanding of COVID-19. To limit the risk of increasing the rate of transmission, scientific advice indicates that we need to take a phased approach that limits both the number of young people in attendance and how much they mix with other learners and staff.

We are reviewing options for the Autumn term; we would like all learners to return to on site delivery as soon as possible and we are working with the sector to support them to do that, as soon as the scientific advice allows it, and with appropriate measures in place to manage the transmission risk.

Further education colleges have done fantastic work to deliver excellent online provision; many colleges had a significant online element to their offer prior to COVID-19, and we expect this to continue as there is a phased return to more on site delivery.

Gillian Keegan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
15th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate he has made of the number of school playing fields that have been sold in 2020.

The Department is keen to protect school playing fields and schools are only able to sell playing fields when they demonstrate that the disposal does not impact their curriculum and that they have explored all possible alternatives.

The Department periodically updates a playing field decision list on GOV.UK and the next update will be in July. The Department is currently collating data for this update. The list is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/school-land-decisions-about-disposals.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate his Department has made of (a) local (b) regional and (c) national levels of participation in remote learning; and what recent assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of remote learning.

As both my right hon. Friends, the Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer have made clear, the Government will do whatever it takes to support people affected by COVID-19.

Our latest guidance on remote education during COVID-19 is set out below:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/remote-education-during-coronavirus-covid-19

The Department is continuing to assess the impact of the potential effect of school closure on children and young people’s education attainment, including on remote education. We are working closely with schools, sector organisations, international institutions and across Government to understand the risks to education attainment and wellbeing, and identify the children and young people that need help.

We are committed to ensuring that all children can continue to learn remotely in a number of ways during these very difficult circumstances, and are supporting sector-led initiatives such as the Oak National Academy. This new enterprise has been created by 40 teachers from schools across England. It will provide 180 video lessons for free each week, across a broad range of subjects, for every year group from Reception through to Year 10. By 24 May, over 2.3 million users had visited the Oak Academy site and over 8.6 million lessons had been accessed.

However, it is up to each school to determine how to deliver education to its pupils and we recognise that many schools have already shared resources – both online and printed resources – for children who are at home.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
2nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans he has to provide financial support to the families of pupils on free school meals in Oxford West and Abingdon constituency during the 2020 school summer holidays.

I refer the hon. Members to the answer I gave on 23 June 2020 to Question 54195.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
20th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the cost to the public purse was of consultants advising his Department in each financial year from 2017-18 to 2020-21.

The Department’s consultancy expenditure is presented in the table below by each financial year as requested from 2017 to 2020.

DfE Consultancy Expenditure

2016-17

2017-18

2018-19

£M

£M

£M

Department

6.0

9.0

12.0

Agencies

0.1

0.4

1.1

Non-departmental public bodies

6.0

5.2

-

Total

12.1

14.6

13.1

Expenditure for financial year 2020/21 has not been included as the financial year commenced as of 1 April 2020 and this information has not been released in the public domain. For financial year 19/20 the Department has not published the annual accounts and is waiting sign off and audit approval to release the data. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic an extension for the submission of annual accounts has been applied across Government Departments.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
20th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to include (a) Iceland and (b) Lidl in the Edenred free school meals voucher scheme.

These are rapidly developing circumstances; we continue to keep the situation under review and will keep Parliament updated accordingly.

The national voucher scheme for free school meals currently includes a variety of supermarkets. Initially, the scheme included supermarkets that already have e-gift card arrangements in place with our supplier, Edenred, including Asda, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Morrisons, M&S and Waitrose. On Monday 27 April we added Aldi to this list and on Wednesday 29 April we added McColl’s. We have been working with other supermarkets to encourage them to join. Any additional supermarkets would need to have the right infrastructure to deliver e-gift cards across their network of stores.

Schools are best placed to make decisions about the most appropriate free school meal arrangements for eligible pupils during this period. In the first instance, we are asking schools to speak to their catering teams and food suppliers about preparing meals or food parcels that could be collected by or delivered to families that are not in attendance. Where this is not possible, schools can use the national voucher scheme or make alternative voucher arrangements locally. Our guidance for schools sets out that they can be reimbursed for costs incurred where the national voucher scheme is not suitable for their families and this can include alternative voucher arrangements with supermarkets that are not part of the national voucher scheme.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
19th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that there is adequate (a) funding for, (b) support for and (c) co-operation between itself and pupil referral units to ensure that those units are able to fulfil their functions during the covid-19 outbreak.

I have set up an alternative provision stakeholder group, formed of senior leaders from across the sector, to help us understand and respond to the specific challenges facing alternative provision schools at this time. I meet this group every month.

The support available to the sector is set out in the department’s guidance on vulnerable children and young people:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-vulnerable-children-and-young-people/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-vulnerable-children-and-young-people.

Alternative provision schools can claim up to £50,000 to cover additional costs, and local authorities and schools should continue to fund commissioned places in alternative provision until the end of the summer term. This is set out in the department’s financial support guidance:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-financial-support-for-schools/school-funding-exceptional-costs-associated-with-coronavirus-covid-19-for-the-period-march-to-july-2020.

These are rapidly developing circumstances. We continue to keep the situation under review and will keep Parliament updated accordingly.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
18th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to ensure that Higher Education institutions have adequate funding to ensure their financial sustainability during the covid-19 outbreak.

The government recognises that the COVID-19 outbreak is bringing significant financial challenges to the higher education (HE) sector and we have been working closely with the sector to monitor the likely impacts.

On 4 May 2020, my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, announced a package of measures to ensure sustainability in HE at a time of unprecedented uncertainty.

We will stabilise the admissions system and reprofile tuition fee payments, expected to be worth £2.6 billion, for providers so that they receive more cash in the first term of the 2020/21 academic year. This will have no impact on students but will allow providers to better manage financial risks over the autumn. This will be available to all providers across the UK.

In reprofiling these payments, we are clear in our expectation that providers should use the cashflow benefits appropriately, taking significant steps to improve efficiencies and manage their finances in order to avoid cashflow problems in the future. Reprofiling in this way is a one-off intervention for the autumn term only, to help providers take all necessary steps now to prepare for the future.

In England, we will also be bringing forward £100 million of quality-related research funding for providers to the current academic year to help to address some of the immediate pressures faced by university research activities.

The department will consider purchasing land and buildings where they can be used for new or expanding schools and colleges in England. This will take place as part of existing programmes and using established procedures. This financial year (across purchases from all suitable vendors, including but not limited to HE providers), we have budgeted up to £100 million to acquire sites for planned projects in England. Details are available on GOV.UK at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-support-package-for-universities-and-students.

These measures are in addition to the unprecedented package of support for businesses already announced by my right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, which includes the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and a range of business loan schemes, to help pay wages, keep staff employed and support businesses whose viability is threatened by the outbreak.

The government has also confirmed that providers are eligible to apply for its support packages, including business loan support schemes, which the Office for Students (OfS), the regulator in England, estimates could be worth at least £700 million to the sector.

We will only intervene further where we believe there is a case to do so and where we believe intervention is possible and appropriate and as a last resort.

In such instances, we will work with providers to review their circumstances and assess the need for restructuring and any attached conditions. The department will be working with HM Treasury and other government departments to develop this restructuring regime and with the devolved administrations.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
18th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will publish the scientific evidence submitted to his Department in relation to covid-19 on the (a) transmissibility for 0-10 year old children, (b) infection rates for 0-10 children, (c) expected infection and death rates for the children that return to education settings, (d) expected infection and death rates among teaching staff that return to education settings and (e) expected infection and death rates among Black Asian and minority ethnic communities in advance of the decision to begin the phased reopening of schools.

The Government has asked schools and nurseries to prepare to open to more young people from 1 June, with protective measures in place, as part of a phased wider opening of schools.

The Children’s Task and Finish Working Group, established by SAGE (Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies), provided consolidated scientific health advice to Government. Advice from this group was used, alongside other sources of information, to inform decision making on the wider opening schools.

Papers from SAGE meetings are being published in tranches. The first batch was released on 20 March 2020 and further papers were published on 5 May and 22 May 2020, including papers on the wider opening of schools. Further batches will be released regularly.

The list of papers to be released to date is available by following the link below, including a number of schools-related papers. This list will be updated to reflect papers considered at future meetings: https://www.gov.uk/government/groups/scientific-advisory-group-for-emergencies-sage-coronavirus-covid-19-response.

In addition, the department has published an explanatory note to accompany SAGE’s findings from the Interdisciplinary Task and Finish Group. This looked specifically at the role of children in transmission and can be found by following the link below:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/887247/Department_for_Education_explanatory_note_on_SAGE_modelling.pdf.

ONS published analysis of coronavirus (COVID-19) related deaths by ethnic group, England and Wales: 2 March 2020 to 10 April 2020. This provisional analysis has shown that the risk of death involving coronavirus (COVID-19) among some ethnic groups is significantly higher than that of those of white ethnicity. A review, carried out by PHE, will look to understand how different factors -including ethnicity, gender and obesity -can impact on people’s health outcomes from COVID-19. More information can be found by following the link below: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/review-into-factors-impacting-health-outcomes-from-covid-19.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
6th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what reference to the oral evidence session of the Education Committee on 22 April 2020 on the Inquiry, the impact of covid-19 on education and children’s services, how REACT teams are comprised with regard to (a) staff, (b) volunteers, (c) funding and (d) on the ground support.

Regional Education and Children’s Teams (REACTs) have been established to better co-ordinate how the Department and Ofsted capture information and intelligence about local needs and circumstances in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, whilst also offering support to local authorities where they need it.

There are nine REACTs across England, representing policy areas including vulnerable, children’s social care, special educational needs and disabilities, schools and further education. Membership includes representatives from Ofsted and the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA). Membership is drawn from existing Departmental and Ofsted staff, so does not require additional funding.

REACTs provide a mechanism for the Department to coordinate conversations with local authorities across education and children’s services, preventing duplication. Through those conversations, REACTs discuss matching practical support offers to those local authority areas that require it. Specifically, Ofsted have to date agreed deployment of 242 staff to 114 local authorities, with 98 having started the deployment (as of 11 May 2020). The purpose of these placements is to assist frontline organisations deal with urgent activities related to COVID-19, or by back-filling roles that enable others to deal with urgent activities related to COVID-19, for example in contacting and tracking vulnerable children.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether (a) supply teaching agencies, (b) schools or(c) the his Department is responsible for ensuring that supply teachers receive a secure income during the covid-19 outbreak.

The support available to supply teachers, and who provides this support, is dependent on whether supply teachers are employed directly by schools or employed by agencies. The Department has developed school workforce guidance on COVID-19, including financial support available to supply teachers:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-school-closures/guidance-for-schools-about-temporarily-closing#supply-teachers-and-other-contingent-workers.

The Department has also developed further guidance on financial support for all education institutions, which is set out below:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-financial-support-for-education-early-years-and-childrens-social-care/coronavirus-covid-19-financial-support-for-education-early-years-and-childrens-social-care.

The Department is communicating regularly, via a number of channels, with schools, supply agencies and teaching unions on the support available for supply staff during the COVID-19 outbreak.

These are rapidly developing circumstances. We continue to keep the situation under review and will keep Parliament updated accordingly.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent (a) discussion and (b) other engagement he has with supply teaching agencies on support for supply teachers since the closure of schools in March 2020.

The support available to supply teachers, and who provides this support, is dependent on whether supply teachers are employed directly by schools or employed by agencies. The Department has developed school workforce guidance on COVID-19, including financial support available to supply teachers:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-school-closures/guidance-for-schools-about-temporarily-closing#supply-teachers-and-other-contingent-workers.

The Department has also developed further guidance on financial support for all education institutions, which is set out below:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-financial-support-for-education-early-years-and-childrens-social-care/coronavirus-covid-19-financial-support-for-education-early-years-and-childrens-social-care.

The Department is communicating regularly, via a number of channels, with schools, supply agencies and teaching unions on the support available for supply staff during the COVID-19 outbreak.

These are rapidly developing circumstances. We continue to keep the situation under review and will keep Parliament updated accordingly.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department has taken to communicate to supply teachers (a) where they can access support and (b) who they should contact to access that support.

The support available to supply teachers, and who provides this support, is dependent on whether supply teachers are employed directly by schools or employed by agencies. The Department has developed school workforce guidance on COVID-19, including financial support available to supply teachers:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-school-closures/guidance-for-schools-about-temporarily-closing#supply-teachers-and-other-contingent-workers.

The Department has also developed further guidance on financial support for all education institutions, which is set out below:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-financial-support-for-education-early-years-and-childrens-social-care/coronavirus-covid-19-financial-support-for-education-early-years-and-childrens-social-care.

The Department is communicating regularly, via a number of channels, with schools, supply agencies and teaching unions on the support available for supply staff during the COVID-19 outbreak.

These are rapidly developing circumstances. We continue to keep the situation under review and will keep Parliament updated accordingly.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what proportion of (a) civil servants, (b) special advisers and (c ) contract staff in his Department have teaching qualifications.

The Department does not hold information on whether civil servants, special advisers or contract staff have teaching qualifications.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
28th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department plans to halt the introduction of baseline English and Maths assessments for reception children in England in the 2020-21 academic year as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

The Department understands the challenging circumstances schools are facing and is working closely with our delivery partners to keep progress towards the reception baseline assessment under regular review. We are gathering feedback from stakeholders on a range of options and will be providing further guidance to schools in the summer term.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
21st Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the data entitled Coronavirus (COVID-19): attendance in education and early years settings published by his Department on 21 April 2020, what proportion of the children classified as vulnerable were (a) classified as children in need and (b) hold an Education, Health and Care plan.

24,000 of the children in attendance on Friday 17 April were classed by schools as vulnerable. Of these, around 6,000 had an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan, and 14,000 were children in need (reported by schools as having a social worker). The remainder were unknown, where schools either did not provide this information or the children were classed vulnerable for other reasons. This data corresponds with the last day of the Easter break in most parts of the country.

The department is working with educational settings and local authorities to improve our understanding of the total number of vulnerable children for whom continued attendance at educational establishments would be beneficial and appropriate. This is in recognition of the fact that attendance may not be appropriate for some children, including because of health considerations and risks, and that many children with EHC plans may be able to have their needs met in the home environment. Full guidance on the definition of vulnerable children and options for continued attendance can be found at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-vulnerable-children-and-young-people/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-vulnerable-children-and-young-people.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
19th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what guidance his Department provides to local authorities on the circumstances in which it is appropriate to prosecute a parent under section 444(1) of the Education Act 1996.

From Friday 20 March, schools, colleges and early years settings?have been closed to everyone except children of key workers and vulnerable children, as part of the country’s ongoing response to COVID-19.

We have asked local authorities to suspend any penalty notice action or prosecutions for COVID-19 related absence with immediate effect. Local authorities should update their Code of Conduct for issuing penalty notices to make this clear. New cases should not be taken forward and any cases from 16 March should be withdrawn. This approach should also be applied to prosecutions for non-attendance.

Guidance has been issued on providing support for vulnerable children, including those with special educational needs or disabilities, during the current period of school closures. Schools, colleges, other training providers and local authorities will need to work with parents to make a risk assessment for each child and young person with an education, health and care plan and decide whether their needs should be met though the continuation of provision in their educational setting, or they are able to have their needs met at home.

The latest guidance for schools and other education settings can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-schools-and-other-educational-settings.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
19th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to ensure that parents whose children are (a) unable to and (b) choose not to attend school because of (i) special educational needs and (ii) a disability during the covid-19 outbreak are not prosecuted under section 444(1) of the Education Act 1996.

From Friday 20 March, schools, colleges and early years settings?have been closed to everyone except children of key workers and vulnerable children, as part of the country’s ongoing response to COVID-19.

We have asked local authorities to suspend any penalty notice action or prosecutions for COVID-19 related absence with immediate effect. Local authorities should update their Code of Conduct for issuing penalty notices to make this clear. New cases should not be taken forward and any cases from 16 March should be withdrawn. This approach should also be applied to prosecutions for non-attendance.

Guidance has been issued on providing support for vulnerable children, including those with special educational needs or disabilities, during the current period of school closures. Schools, colleges, other training providers and local authorities will need to work with parents to make a risk assessment for each child and young person with an education, health and care plan and decide whether their needs should be met though the continuation of provision in their educational setting, or they are able to have their needs met at home.

The latest guidance for schools and other education settings can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-schools-and-other-educational-settings.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
3rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the statement that the UK will consider options for participation in elements of Erasmus+ on page 21 of the paper entitled, The future relationship with the EU: the UK’s approach to negotiations, CP 211, whether the Government plans to seek (a) partner or (b) programme country status within Erasmus+ after 2021.

As we set out in the UK’s approach to negotiations, we remain open to the UK participating in elements of the Erasmus+ programme, on a time-limited basis, provided the terms are in the UK’s interest.

The specific terms under which the UK could participate in the programme are subject to the future negotiations with the EU, which we hope to conclude as soon as possible.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
28th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to page 21 of the paper entitled, The future relationship with the EU: the UK’s approach to negotiations, CP211, if it is his policy to develop an alternative student mobility scheme after the end of the time-limited participation in Erasmus+.

As we have set out in the UK’s approach to negotiations, we remain open to the UK participating in elements of the Erasmus+ programme on a time-limited basis provided that the terms are in the UK’s interest.

In parallel with the ongoing negotiations, we continue to develop a domestic alternative scheme as part of preparing for every eventuality.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many and what proportion of children that were excluded in each London borough were (a) male and (b) BAME.

The National Statistics release ‘Permanent and fixed-period exclusions in England 2017 to 2018’ includes information on the number and rate of permanent and fixed period exclusions.

The release is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/permanent-and-fixed-period-exclusions-in-england-2017-to-2018.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when he plans publish a response to his Department’s consultation on children not in school, which closed in June 2019.

In spring 2019, a consultation was held on proposals for a mandatory register of children not attending state or registered independent schools to help local authorities carry out their responsibilities in relation to children not in school.

Almost 5000 responses were received to the consultation which closed in June 2019. They have now been considered and a formal government response document setting out next steps will be issued in due course.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
10th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether undergraduate students wanting to study abroad in the (a) 2020-21 and (b) 2021-22 academic year will be able to do so through the Erasmus+ scheme.

Under the Withdrawal Agreement negotiated with the EU, the UK will continue to participate fully in the current (2014-20) Erasmus+ and European Solidarity Corps (ESC) programmes. This means that the projects successfully bid for during the current programmes will continue to receive EU funding for the full duration of the project, including those where funding runs beyond 2020 and the end of the transition period. We expect Higher Education mobilities being bid for in 2020 will include some mobilities for academic year 2020-21 and academic year 2021-22, depending on the specific details of individual projects.

The shape and content of EU Programmes post-2020, including Erasmus+, are currently being negotiated within the EU institutions and have not yet been finalised. These EU programmes must be adopted by the EU before any potential formal negotiations on association could begin. The UK is ready to consider participation in certain EU programmes, once the EU has agreed the baseline in its 2021-27 Multiannual Financial Framework, and taking into account the overall value to the UK of doing so.

The Department for Education is the national authority for the Erasmus+ programme in the UK. The Department oversees the work of the UK National Agency, which is responsible for the management and delivery of the programme across the UK. The UK National Agency have been issuing guidance to UK universities with the support of the Department for Education.

The UK government is preparing for every eventuality and is considering a wide range of options with regard to the future of international exchange and collaboration in education and training, including potential domestic alternatives.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
10th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what guidance he has provided to UK universities on preparing student and staff exchanges for the (a) 2020-21 and (b) 2021-22 academic year.

Under the Withdrawal Agreement negotiated with the EU, the UK will continue to participate fully in the current (2014-20) Erasmus+ and European Solidarity Corps (ESC) programmes. This means that the projects successfully bid for during the current programmes will continue to receive EU funding for the full duration of the project, including those where funding runs beyond 2020 and the end of the transition period. We expect Higher Education mobilities being bid for in 2020 will include some mobilities for academic year 2020-21 and academic year 2021-22, depending on the specific details of individual projects.

The shape and content of EU Programmes post-2020, including Erasmus+, are currently being negotiated within the EU institutions and have not yet been finalised. These EU programmes must be adopted by the EU before any potential formal negotiations on association could begin. The UK is ready to consider participation in certain EU programmes, once the EU has agreed the baseline in its 2021-27 Multiannual Financial Framework, and taking into account the overall value to the UK of doing so.

The Department for Education is the national authority for the Erasmus+ programme in the UK. The Department oversees the work of the UK National Agency, which is responsible for the management and delivery of the programme across the UK. The UK National Agency have been issuing guidance to UK universities with the support of the Department for Education.

The UK government is preparing for every eventuality and is considering a wide range of options with regard to the future of international exchange and collaboration in education and training, including potential domestic alternatives.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
31st Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, which local authorities pay foster carers less than the minimum weekly allowance recommended by his Department.

The Department for Education does not collect data in relation to the national minimum allowance (NMA).

The National Minimum Standards for Fostering Services are clear that every foster parent should receive an allowance that covers the full cost of caring for a child. Whilst local authorities determine the allowance paid to foster parents in their area, the NMA serves as a baseline to the minimum amount that foster parents can expect to receive per week to cover the cost of a child living in their home. Whilst it is not mandatory in regulations, we expect all fostering services to pay at least this amount.

We are continuing to work with fostering services and others in the sector to ensure that the support offered to foster parents meets their needs.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
31st Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Written Statement of 30 January 2020, Schools Funding updates HCWS78, whether funding to increase the pupil premium in line with inflation in 2020-21 is included in the £2.6 billion increase in schools funding in 2020-21 announced in the 2019 Spending Round.

Funding to increase the pupil premium in line with inflation in 2020-21 is included in the £2.6 billion increase announced in the 2019 Spending Round.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
30th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the cost to the public purse was of (a) designing and (b) promoting the web page entitled View national funding formula allocations for your school: 2020 to 2021 on the Department’s website.

The cost of designing the webpage entitled, ‘View national funding formula allocations for your school: 2020 to 2021’, was £112,125.

No specific resource or cost was dedicated to the promotion of the new National Funding Formula website, which formed part of wider communications work that the Department carries out on an ongoing basis.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
30th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many of his officials were involved in the (a) design and (b) promotion of the View national funding formula for schools web page on his Department’s website.

5.5 full time equivalent digital staff were involved in the design of the 'View national funding formula for schools webpage', with support from a policy official.

No specific resource or cost was dedicated to the promotion of the new National Funding Formula website, which formed part of wider communications work that the Department carries out on an ongoing basis.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
29th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when his Department plans to respond to Sir Philip Augar's review of Post-18 Education and Funding.

​Philip Augar and his independent panel have made thoughtful recommendations on tuition fee levels and loan repayment, the balance of funding between universities, further education, apprenticeships and adult education, and we will consider all these recommendations carefully.

We are considering the report carefully but have not yet taken decisions with regard to the recommendations put forward.

As my right hon. Friend, the Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation announced on 20 January at education oral questions, the Government will conclude the review alongside the next Spending Review, providing the sector with clarity about the future of post-18 education and funding.

We want to ensure we have an education system that is accessible to all and encourages the development of the skills we need as a country.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
27th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answers of 21 January 2020 to Questions 4479, 4480 and 4481 on the Erasmus+ Programme, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the proposed Erasmus regulation for 2021-27 as adopted by the European Parliament on 28 March 2019, text number P8_TA(2019)0324.

Ministers and officials do not attend trilogues as these are held between the Presidency, the Commission and the representatives from the European Parliament’s CULT committee.

As stated in my answer of 21 January 2020 to Questions 4479, 4480 and 4481, the proposed regulations for the next 2021-27 Erasmus+ programme are still being discussed in the EU and have yet to be finalised.

The government highly values international exchange and cooperation in education and training and, as noted in the Political Declaration, the UK is open to participation in certain EU programmes, such as the next Erasmus+ programme (2021-27), if it is in our interest to do so. Future participation in EU programmes will be a subject of our negotiations on the future UK-EU relationship.

27th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether (a) Ministers and (b) officials in his Department have attended (i) trilogues, (ii) meetings of the Committee of the Permanent Representatives of the Governments of the Member States to the EU and (iii) other relevant meetings to determine the response of the Council of Ministers to the proposed Erasmus regulation for 2021-27 adopted by the European Parliament on 28 March 2019; and what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the position taken by the Council to date.

Ministers and officials do not attend trilogues as these are held between the Presidency, the Commission and the representatives from the European Parliament’s CULT committee.

As stated in my answer of 21 January 2020 to Questions 4479, 4480 and 4481, the proposed regulations for the next 2021-27 Erasmus+ programme are still being discussed in the EU and have yet to be finalised.

The government highly values international exchange and cooperation in education and training and, as noted in the Political Declaration, the UK is open to participation in certain EU programmes, such as the next Erasmus+ programme (2021-27), if it is in our interest to do so. Future participation in EU programmes will be a subject of our negotiations on the future UK-EU relationship.

20th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when his Department plans to conclude its investigation into the reasons why an unauthorised third party was given access to data held by the Learning Records Service.

The recent use of the Learning Records Service by a data broker was unauthorised and not sanctioned by the department. There was no data released about individual learners, only a confirmation or denial that a record existed.

The department is conducting thorough and urgent investigations into this which will conclude shortly.

In addition to internal investigations, the department is working with the Information Commissioner’s Office to provide information on the events around this unsanctioned and unauthorised use of the Learning Records Service data by a third party.

20th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will publish the conclusions of his Department’s investigation into the reasons why an unauthorised third party was given access to data held by the Learning Records Service.

The recent use of the Learning Records Service by a data broker was unauthorised and not sanctioned by the department. There was no data released about individual learners, only a confirmation or denial that a record existed.

The department is conducting thorough and urgent investigations into this which will conclude shortly.

In addition to internal investigations, the department is working with the Information Commissioner’s Office to provide information on the events around this unsanctioned and unauthorised use of the Learning Records Service data by a third party.

16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment the Government has made of whether continued participation in Erasmus from 2021 would deliver value for money for the Government.

As stated in the Political Declaration, the UK is open to participate in certain EU programmes, such as the next Erasmus+ programme (2021-27), if it is in our interest to do so.

The proposed regulations for the next 2021-27 Erasmus+ programme are still being discussed in the EU and have yet to be finalised. Future participation in EU programmes will be a subject of our negotiations on the future UK-EU relationship. We do not yet know the specifics of the next programme and therefore it is not appropriate to talk in terms of any preferred option. We will of course assess the value for money of ongoing Erasmus+ participation in light of the finalised programme design.

The UK government wants to ensure that UK and European students can continue to benefit from each other’s world-leading education systems. We are considering a wide range of options with regards to the future of international exchange and collaboration in education and training, including potential domestic alternatives.

16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 15 January 2020 to Question 1918 on the Erasmus+ Programme, whether it is his preferred option to seek associate membership of Erasmus from 2021.

As stated in the Political Declaration, the UK is open to participate in certain EU programmes, such as the next Erasmus+ programme (2021-27), if it is in our interest to do so.

The proposed regulations for the next 2021-27 Erasmus+ programme are still being discussed in the EU and have yet to be finalised. Future participation in EU programmes will be a subject of our negotiations on the future UK-EU relationship. We do not yet know the specifics of the next programme and therefore it is not appropriate to talk in terms of any preferred option. We will of course assess the value for money of ongoing Erasmus+ participation in light of the finalised programme design.

The UK government wants to ensure that UK and European students can continue to benefit from each other’s world-leading education systems. We are considering a wide range of options with regards to the future of international exchange and collaboration in education and training, including potential domestic alternatives.

16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, for what reasons the number of people using Care to Learn has fallen by 64 per cent since 2013-14.

Over recent years, demand for the Care to Learn scheme has fallen. The most significant reason for this fall in demand is the reduction in teenage pregnancy rates, which are now at an all-time low. There has also been a reduction in the number of young people in the population. The Government continues to make Care to Learn available to young parents in qualifying education, where they are aged under 20 at the start of their course and meet the scheme requirements.

When developing the Care to Learn application and payment systems, the Government must ensure that public funding is used appropriately. In developing the systems, the Government reviewed the data required to establish student eligibility and to pay childcare providers and designed the system to request only the minimum information to carry out these checks. The Government plans to keep the service under review and to ensure the process of claiming Care to Learn is as simple as possible.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to simplify the process of claiming financial support through Care to Learn.

Over recent years, demand for the Care to Learn scheme has fallen. The most significant reason for this fall in demand is the reduction in teenage pregnancy rates, which are now at an all-time low. There has also been a reduction in the number of young people in the population. The Government continues to make Care to Learn available to young parents in qualifying education, where they are aged under 20 at the start of their course and meet the scheme requirements.

When developing the Care to Learn application and payment systems, the Government must ensure that public funding is used appropriately. In developing the systems, the Government reviewed the data required to establish student eligibility and to pay childcare providers and designed the system to request only the minimum information to carry out these checks. The Government plans to keep the service under review and to ensure the process of claiming Care to Learn is as simple as possible.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 15 January 2020 to Question 1918 on the Erasmus+ Programme, what factors he will consider when determining if it is in the UK's interest to participate in Erasmus from 2021.

As stated in the Political Declaration, the UK is open to participate in certain EU programmes, such as the next Erasmus+ programme (2021-27), if it is in our interest to do so.

The proposed regulations for the next 2021-27 Erasmus+ programme are still being discussed in the EU and have yet to be finalised. Future participation in EU programmes will be a subject of our negotiations on the future UK-EU relationship. We do not yet know the specifics of the next programme and therefore it is not appropriate to talk in terms of any preferred option. We will of course assess the value for money of ongoing Erasmus+ participation in light of the finalised programme design.

The UK government wants to ensure that UK and European students can continue to benefit from each other’s world-leading education systems. We are considering a wide range of options with regards to the future of international exchange and collaboration in education and training, including potential domestic alternatives.

15th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions he is having with the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government on how local sexual health services can be utilised to assist with education on HIV and sexual health under the new relationships and sex education guidance.

My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, meets regularly with Cabinet colleagues to discuss the Department for Education's agenda. This includes relevant topics covered by the new subjects of Relationships Education (for primary age pupils), Relationships and Sex Education (for secondary age pupils) and Health Education (for all pupils in state-funded schools). The Department is working with Public Health England (PHE), through the RSHE Working Group, to promote join-up on these issues locally.

PHE have regional leads who work with local sexual health services and schools and they provide support to schools with aspects of curriculum delivery; for example with resources covering a range of health issues including sexually transmitted diseases.

In addition, the Department is working with local authorities to understand the breadth of support available for all schools, and what further support local authorities need to ensure strategic co-ordination of school improvement and health priorities.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
15th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will introduce a capital expansion fund for sixth form providers.

Our ambition is to level up the skills of the entire nation and ensure that post-16 education providers are in a great shape to deliver this. We are considering how best to achieve this ambition and we will announce details of future capital funding in due course. This will build on the significant uplift in recurrent funding for 16-19 education which we are putting in place for the 2020/21 academic year.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
15th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the findings of the Education Policy Institute's Annual Report on access to child and adolescent mental health services, published on 10 January 2020; and what steps his Department will take with the Department of Health and Social Care to (a) increase the accountability of mental health providers in England and (b) reduce waiting times for their services.

The Department for Education (DfE) has a joint and ambitious programme of work with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), NHS England, and Health Education England to improve children and young people’s mental health provision in and around schools and colleges. This is being achieved by delivering the proposals set out in the green paper ‘Transforming Children and Young People’s Mental Health Provision’, available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/transforming-children-and-young-peoples-mental-health-provision-a-green-paper.

These proposals include implementing new Mental Health Support Teams (MHSTs) in 20-25% of the country by 2023. The MHSTs will support children and young people with mild to moderate mental health issues and help children and young people with more severe needs to access the right support, and provide a link to specialist NHS services. The DfE is also funding the national roll-out of the Link Programme, from October 2019 to 2023, to improve partnership working between schools and colleges and NHS children and young people’s mental health services.

The DfE has not assessed the policy implications of the Education Policy Institute’s report. The responsibility for mental health provision as considered by the report, including increasing the accountability of mental health providers in England and reducing waiting times for their services, is the responsibility of the DHSC.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
15th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of (a) per-pupil funding for sixth form students and (b) funding for sixth form students' maintenance costs.

We are investing an extra £400 million in 16 to 19 education next year to ensure we are building on the skills that our country needs. We will increase the base rate of funding by 4.7%, from £4,000 to £4,188 for the academic year 2020/21. Over and above the base rate rise, this extra spending also includes new resources for high value and high cost courses and funding to support those on level 3 programmes to continue to study English and maths where needed. This is the biggest injection of new money into 16 to 19 education in a single year since 2010 - with funding increasing faster for 16 to 19 than in 5 to 16 schooling – and will mean a significant increase in the average level of funding per student. We will of course continue to look at the needs of 16 to 19 education in future Spending Reviews.

Maintenance costs are not required or provided for sixth form students in the same way as they are required, for example, for students in higher education, because most 16 to 19 year olds live at home. However, financial support is available for disadvantaged students through discretionary bursaries to help with costs such as travel. In addition, bursaries of up to £1,200 a year are available for students in defined vulnerable groups (mainly those living independently or without family financial support), and free meals are also available for disadvantaged students.

We are changing how we allocate the 16 to 19 discretionary bursary fund from the academic year 2020/2021. We will be using up-to-date patterns of disadvantage, and the expected level of support required for travel and industry placement costs, as the basis for funding. This will create institution level allocations that are better matched to student need across the country. There is also financial support available for young parents’ childcare costs and for essential accommodation for financially disadvantaged students where they need to live away from home to participate in a study programme or to attend one of the designated institutions delivering specialist provision.

This funding and financial support has contributed to the current record high proportion of 16 and 17 year olds who are participating in education or apprenticeships since consistent records began.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
10th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his proposals to remove the exemption for outstanding schools from regular Ofsted inspections requires primary legislation.

On 10 January, the Department launched a consultation on removing the exemption from routine inspection that applies to schools judged outstanding by Ofsted. Subject to the outcome of this consultation, the Department will seek Parliamentary approval to lift the exemption. This will require secondary legislation, which needs to be approved by Parliament through the affirmative process. Regulations are required to revoke the Education (Exemption from School Inspection) (England) Regulations 2012 (SI 2012/1293) and changes will also need to be made to the Education (School Inspection) (England) Regulations 2005 (SI 2005/2038).

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
10th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether the Office for Students plans to publish (a) a register of the recipients of students' personal confidential data and (b) its terms of reference on data distribution.

The Office for Students (OfS) was established through the Higher Education and Research Act (2017), which gave it operational independence in the regulation of the higher education sector. This extends to the holding and sharing of different types of data. In December 2018 the OfS published its data strategy, setting out:

“Where we share data with third parties in support of our regulatory activities, we will only do so where we can be sure that the rights and privacy of individuals are assured. We will ensure that those that process students’ data on our behalf operate to the same high standards. Our uses of data should never go beyond those that students might expect from a responsible regulator acting in their interests.”

Further to this, the OfS Data Protection and Privacy Policy sets out how it complies with data protection legislation. This is available here: https://www.officeforstudents.org.uk/ofs-privacy.

10th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate he has made of the number of students who had personal confidential data distributed by the Office for Students to third parties since its inception in January 2018; and to which third parties that data was distributed.

The Office for Students (OfS) was established through the Higher Education and Research Act (2017), which gave it operational independence in the regulation of the higher education sector. This extends to the holding and sharing of different types of data. In December 2018 the OfS published its data strategy, setting out:

“Where we share data with third parties in support of our regulatory activities, we will only do so where we can be sure that the rights and privacy of individuals are assured. We will ensure that those that process students’ data on our behalf operate to the same high standards. Our uses of data should never go beyond those that students might expect from a responsible regulator acting in their interests.”

Further to this, the OfS Data Protection and Privacy Policy sets out how it complies with data protection legislation. This is available here: https://www.officeforstudents.org.uk/ofs-privacy.

10th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether it his policy to negotiate continued membership of the Erasmus programme as part of the future relationship between the UK and the EU.

Under the Withdrawal Agreement Erasmus participation is protected for the transition period. Students, young people and learners will be able to participate fully and for the duration of their exchange in the remainder of the current programme and organisations can continue to bid for Erasmus+ funding to the end of 2020. Organisations should continue to apply for funding as usual.

As stated in the Political Declaration, the UK is open to participate in certain EU programmes, such as the next Erasmus+ programme (2021-27), if it is in our interest to do so.

The UK government is preparing for every eventuality and are considering a wide range of options with regards to the future of international exchange and collaboration in education and training, including potential domestic alternatives.

As my right Hon. Friend, the Prime Minister, has made clear, the government wants to work to continue to build academic cooperation between the UK and the EU. As we enter negotiations on our future relationship with the EU, we want to ensure that UK and European students can continue to benefit from each other’s world-leading education systems.

10th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what representations he has received from (a) universities, (b) colleges and (c) students’ unions on the UK’s participation in Erasmus after the UK leaves the EU.

The government highly values international exchange and cooperation in education and training and recognises the benefits that such cooperation brings. As we prepare to leave the EU, the department has engaged widely with stakeholder groups across the UK, which we will continue to do. In particular, we have received representations from sector bodies such as Universities UK, the Association of Colleges, the Russell Group, MillionPlus and the National Union of Students.

As my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister, has made clear, the government wants to work to continue to build academic cooperation between the UK and the EU. As we enter negotiations on our future relationship with the EU, we want to ensure that UK students and European students can continue to benefit from each other’s world-leading education systems. The UK government is preparing for every eventuality and are considering a wide range of options with regards to the future of international exchange and collaboration in education and training, including potential domestic alternatives. We remain open to participation in Erasmus and this will be part of future negotiations with the EU.

3rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will extend the Property Flood Resilience Grants Scheme to cover people who have been flooded since December 2020.

Flooding has a devastating impact on communities, businesses and individuals. The Government closely monitors the impact on affected areas.

The decision to trigger financial support from central Government is taken collectively by Ministers in the event of severe weather events with significant impacts on a wide area. In reaching a decision, Ministers consider factors such as severity, duration and extent of the impacts.

During unprecedented flooding in the winter of 2019/2020, the Government announced Property Flooding Resilience (PFR) repair grants of up to £5,000 to help eligible properties affected by floods become more flood resilient. The repair grants apply to those affected in district or unitary authorities that have 25 or more severely flooded properties. Currently, 52 district and unitary councils with over 7700 properties are eligible in England for the November 2019 and February 2020 PFR repair schemes.

The reported impacts during events since December 2020 suggest the numbers of internally flooded properties have been lower than would justify activation of the PFR Repair Scheme. With localised flooding incidents, local authorities are expected to have well established contingency arrangements in place and to be able to support their local communities from within existing budgets. Councils have discretionary powers to fund grants or loans for home improvements, this can include funding for PFR measures.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
1st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether he plans to allocate additional funding to food producers to ensure a regular food supply during winter 2020-21.

The UK has a highly resilient food supply chain. Our food security depends on supply from diverse sources, from strong domestic production as well as imports from stable and diverse sources. This ensures that any disruption from risks such as adverse weather or disease does not affect the UK’s overall security of supply.

Our thorough preparations for leaving the EU in 2019, alongside the lessons we have learned from the range of interventions deployed during the Covid-19 response provide a robust foundation for planning on food supply this winter.

We are currently working alongside industry and across Government including with the Devolved Administrations to review our plans for the end of this year. These will incorporate the potential concurrence of further peaks of Covid-19, supply chain risks at the end of the transition period and other potential risks such as severe weather and seasonal flu.

Through the UK Agriculture Market Monitoring Group (UKAMMG), Defra and the Devolved Administrations we continue to monitor the market situation across various agricultural commodities. The group will enable us to remain agile and to identify, and respond as required, to any unforeseen impacts on food producers.

The Government appreciates that parts of the food and farming sectors are currently facing unprecedented challenges as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Farmers and food processors are, where eligible, able to apply for public support through the various Covid-19 related Government schemes including Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS). On 24 September, the Government announced an extension to its access to finance schemes to 30 November 2020 for new applicants and introduced ‘Pay as you Grow’ options for BBLS borrowers, who will be offered more time and greater flexibility for their repayments.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
17th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of giving Designated Bathing Water Status to a stretch of the River Thames in Oxford.

Bathing waters are designated through an application process and Defra welcomes applications for designation for both coastal and inland waters such as rivers. Local authorities, groups and individuals can apply for sites to be designated. Defra encourages this by writing to the Chief Executive of every local authority in England, as well as by sending similar letters to other stakeholders like swimming associations. It is these local authorities and stakeholders who will best know which popular riverside bathing areas may be suitable for designation.

All applications are considered in line with our usual process, the details of which are available on gov.uk. There is currently a consultation seeking the public’s views on a proposal submitted by a local group to designate an area of the River Wharfe, between Ilkley Main Bridge and Beanlands Island, as a designated bathing water. The consultation ends 2 October.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 25 June 2020 to Question 60655 on Renewable energy, what plans his Department has to install more solar panels and wind turbines on its buildings in the next five years.

The Government is committed to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050. This includes taking action to increase the use of renewable energy across the Government estate. Where this relates to solar panels and wind turbines on buildings occupied by Defra, active consideration will be given to installation.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 22 June 2020 to Question 59351 on Energy, what proportion of the electricity used by his Department's buildings in (a) each of the last five years and (b) 2020 to date was produced by solar panels and wind turbines on those buildings.

The amounts of renewable energy generated by Defra Group including the Environment Agency, Kew Gardens and Forestry Commission over the last five years are included in the attached table.

We have used between 0.1% and 1.3% of renewable energy generated from our buildings over the last five years.

The amount of renewable electricity used each year varies, due to differing parts of the department using renewable and non-renewable electricity. The differing amounts these constitute vary each year depending on operational need.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how much of the additional budget for flooding will be spent on flood alleviation in (a) Abingdon, (b) Oxford City and (c) Oxfordshire.

The Government is currently investing £2.6 billion across the country to deliver more than 1,000 flood defence projects to better protect 300,000 homes by 2021. Since 2015, £24 million has been spent in Oxfordshire to reduce the risk of flooding. The Oxford Flood Alleviation Scheme is fully funded, and construction is due to begin after the replacement of the A423 Kennington Railway Bridge.

We are spending £5.62 million in Oxfordshire this year of which £2.3 million is on the Oxford Flood Alleviation Scheme which, when completed, will protect 1,200 homes. The rest of the money spent this year is towards other schemes, including looking at the early feasibility for schemes that could provide protection in the future if viable

In Abingdon, the previously proposed flood storage area to reduce flood risk is not being progressed due to the low number of properties that will have their flood risk reduced. Other options are currently being considered for the town.

Government funding is governed by the rules of the Partnership Funding Policy and the formula for allocating the Government’s contribution is weighted towards protecting people’s lives and homes.

The Environment Agency will continue to work with Oxfordshire County Council on solutions for flooding across the county.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
23rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to create direct elections to national park governing boards.

National Park Authority members are selected by constituent local authorities or parish councils or are appointed by the Secretary of State following open competition.

The independent review of Designated Landscapes led by Julian Glover, published in 2019, proposed reforms to the governance of National Parks. The proposed reforms do not include direct elections to National Park Authorities. The Government is carefully considering the Glover proposals and will respond in due course.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many air miles were accumulated by (a) Ministers, (b) special advisers and (c) civil servants in his Department in (i) the last six months and (ii) each calendar year since 2015.

The Department has flown 1,203,364 miles in the last six months (based on the date flights were invoiced).

The table below shows the number of miles by calendar year since 2015 (based on the date the flights were invoiced).

Year

Mileage

2015

1,523,505

2016

1,239,659

2017

1,892,968

2018

3,312,017

2019

3,329,349

2020 (to date)

160,695

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
22nd Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps her Department is taking to ensure that support for the deployment of offshore wind generation capacity to meet net zero emissions targets does not harm international marine species and habitats.

We fully support the growth of offshore wind and recognise the essential role it plays in meeting the net zero target. Defra has a significant interest in offshore wind development in terms of its potential to contribute to meeting the Government’s climate change commitments, and we also have a critical role in ensuring the protection of our marine environment, particularly across our network of designated Marine Protected Areas.

We are working with other Government bodies, the Crown Estate, industry and wider stakeholders to mitigate against, and prepare for, any environmental impacts of growth in the offshore wind sector. This programme of measures will enable the responsible and sustainable growth of offshore wind.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, pursuant to the Answer of 24 June 2020 to Question 60656 on Renewable energy, what plans her Department has to install solar panels and wind turbines on its buildings in the next five years.

DFID has two offices in the UK, one at 22 Whitehall and the other at Abercrombie House, East Kilbride.

While there are no current plans to install solar panels and wind turbines at either of our UK offices, we are keeping this under constant review and considering options and opportunities as they arise.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
9th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps her Department has taken to support (a) healthcare services and (b) disease prevention in Gaza since the covid-19 outbreak.

The UN assesses that although the current number of detected cases remains relatively low in Gaza and the West Bank, the capacity of the Palestinian health system to cope with an increase in COVID-19 cases is poor, including the low availability of PPE and ventilators. The situation is particularly severe in Gaza, where the health system has shortages in specialised staff, drugs and equipment.

The UK has pledged £764 million to support the global humanitarian response to COVID-19. We have delivered additional vital support in the Occupied Palestinian Territories by providing funding to the World Health Organization and UNICEF to purchase and co-ordinate the delivery of medical equipment, treat critical care patients, train frontline public health personnel and scale up laboratory testing capacity. I also recently announced £20 million in new funding, which will help the Palestinian Authority support its health workers who have been on the frontline battling coronavirus.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps she is taking to ensure existing programmes funded by her Department can be adapted to respond to covid-19 so that development progress is not lost.

We are maximising the UK’s efforts to tackle COVID-19 by adapting and scaling up existing programmes where they can respond to the crisis. In country, we are working quickly to pivot our programming to support the COVID-19 response, reinforcing health, humanitarian, social protection or economic support programmes.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what plans her Department has to help ensure that as schools reopen internationally, girls are not prevented from returning to education.

Ensuring 12 years of quality education for all children, especially girls, is a UK priority, particularly in responding to the COVID 19 pandemic. We are helping to mitigate the short-term risks to children by focussing on their safety, nutrition, wellbeing and learning whilst schools are closed. The UK has announced £20 million for UNICEF’s crisis appeal, which includes education, and a further £5 million to the Education Cannot Wait fund to support emergency education in fragile contexts.

Getting girls and the most marginalised back to school is one of the most important challenges the international education community has ever faced. As the Ebola crisis in West Africa showed, girls in particular are highly vulnerable to the socio-economic impacts of the crisis. We are re-orienting our programmes in 18 countries to help education ministries plan for school re-opening. At global level we will support UNICEF’s Re-Opening Better campaign, with particular focus on the needs of girls and the most marginalised children.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, how many UK arms export licences have been granted to (a) Jaguar Land Rover and (b) MDT Armor Corporation for exports of (i) armoured land rovers and (ii) other land rovers to Israel as at 18 May 2021.

Our records indicate that, between 2000 and 2020, seven licences have been granted to Land Rover Exports Ltd; and no licences have been granted to MDT Armor Corporation.

Of the licences granted to Land Rover Exports Ltd, four were for Land Rover vehicles. Two of the licences were granted for armoured vehicles, for the protection of staff on diplomatic missions, and a further two licences were granted for non-armoured vehicles.

HM Government will not grant an export licence if to do so would be inconsistent with the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria (the ‘Consolidated Criteria’).

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
14th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, how many (a) standard individual export licences and (b) open individual export licences have been granted for the shipment of arms to Ethiopia in the last (i) six and (ii) 12 months.

HM Government publishes Official Statistics on GOV.UK on a quarterly and annual basis on export licences granted, refused and revoked to all destinations. These reports contain detailed information including the overall value, type (e.g. Military, Other) and a summary of the items covered by these licences. This information is available at: gov.uk/government/collections/strategic-export-controls-licensing-data and the most recent publication was on 13th April 2021, covering the period 1st October to 31st December 2020.

Two Standard Individual Export Licences (SIELs) were granted for military rated items to Ethiopia between July and December 2020 and no other licences were granted in the six months prior to this period.

Information on licences granted between 1st January to 31st March 2021 will be published as Official Statistics on 13th July 2021; and for licences granted from 1st April to 30th June 2021, information will be published in October 2021.

All export licence applications are assessed against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria (the ‘Consolidated Criteria’). HM Government will not grant an export licence if to do so would be inconsistent with the Consolidated Criteria.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what impact assessment was conducted by her Department of the human rights record of the Turkish Government prior to the agreement of the UK-Turkey trade deal on 29 December 2020.

The Agreement signed on 29th December transitions existing EU-Turkey trade provisions, as far as possible, into a bilateral arrangement between the United Kingdom and Turkey. The continuity of these provisions gives certainty to businesses trading between the United Kingdom and Turkey, ensuring goods can continue to flow without tariffs.

HM Government is clear that trade does not come at the expense of rights and responsibilities. We have a strong history of promoting our values globally, and we will continue to engage the Turkish Government on these important issues.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, pursuant to the Answer of 26 June 2020 to Question 60657 on Renewable energy, what plans her Department has to install solar panels and wind turbines on its buildings in the next five years.

The Government Property Agency (GPA) does not have plans for the installation of solar panels and wind turbines on the DIT buildings for which GPA is responsible.

However, GPA is developing a ‘Government Office Net Zero Programme’ to support the following targets of HM Government:

  • To reduce the United Kingdom’s net emissions of greenhouse gases by 100% relative to 1990 levels by 2050, making our nation a ‘Net Zero’ emitter

  • To have at least a 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions across the public sector estate by 2032, against a 2017 baseline.

GPA has committed to the following objectives for the estate they manage:

  • Improve energy efficiency (reduce consumption/improve thermal efficiency)

  • Use green energy (decarbonise)

  • Generate and store green energy (locally)

  • Reduce embodied carbon (in construction)

To meet the third objective, GPA is currently assessing opportunities for the local generation and storage of green energy on a number of buildings within their estate, which may include solar panels and wind turbines.

GPA plans to request funding for the ‘Government Office Net Zero Programme’ as part of the 2020 Spending Review. The buildings that may be in scope, preferred technologies and precise funding are all subject to further development and approval.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
11th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what estimate she has made to the cost of the public purse of the (a) staffing and (b) rent of (i) DIT East of England, (ii) DIT North East, (iii) DIT South West, (iv) DIT East Midlands, (v) DIT North West, (vi) DIT West Midlands, (vii) DIT London, (viii) DIT South East, and (ix) DIT Yorkshire and the Humber.

The Department for International Trade’s (DIT) staff across the UK operate in a nine-region structure across England, as well as having a presence in Scotland, all of which work to support businesses across the whole of the UK to export and grow overseas, as well as to attract Foreign Direct Investment. The current forecast staff pay costs for these teams in 2019-20 are set out below.

Region

Staff Costs (2019-20)

East of England

£273,867

North East

£265,428

South West

£222,869

East & West Midlands*

£1,374,359

North West

£637,337

London and Scotland**

£507,155

South East

£374,511

Yorkshire and Humber

£420,829

Grand Total

£4,076,355

* Staff costs are recorded against the Midlands as a whole and are not separated between East and West Midlands

** Staff costs for staff who support London and staff who support Scotland are reported together and can not be separated.

Other functions at DIT are not organised into English regions.

The 2019-20 full year forecast staff costs of all civil servants and other staff working in the UK is £139,114,653.

The annual property rental costs in 2019-20 of all DIT’s buildings by English region are:-

Region

Property Rental Costs (2019-20)

East of England

£32,000

North East

£24,000

South West

£20,000

East Midlands

£40,000

West Midlands

£45,692

North West

£39,649

London

£8,973,578

South East

£298,711

Yorkshire and the Humber

£42,695

Grand Total

£9,516,325

These buildings accommodate staff from a number of different teams from across DIT. It is not possible to identify the rental costs of space in these buildings occupied solely by the regional teams supporting businesses to export.

11th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, pursuant to the Answer of 10 June 2019 to Question 260105, what estimate her Department has made of the cost to the public purse of the (a) operation, (b) maintenance and (c) promotion of her Department's export hub truck (i) in this financial year to date, (ii) over the last six months and (iii) this calendar year to date.

The Export Hub is a mobile outreach platform that hosts workshops and advice sessions so that businesses across the UK can access Department for International Trade export services on their doorstep. It is available for use by Members of Parliament to help boost exports in their constituencies.

The spend on the Export hub is as follows:

  • In this financial year to date: £1,195,253.34
  • Over the last six months (August 2019 to January 2020): £1,009,189.32
  • This calendar year to date: £100,799.19

We are not able to break these costs down by operation, maintenance and promotion.

Graham Stuart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
24th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate he has made of the number of safety cameras at level crossings that have been turned off and are still off in (a) Oxfordshire and (b) Oxford West and Abingdon constituency (i) since 1 January 2021 and (ii) to date.

No cameras deployed on level crossings within Oxfordshire or the Oxford West and Abingdon constituency have been switched off, or remain off, since 1 January 2021.

This reflects that the safety of users of level crossings in Oxfordshire and across the Network Rail estate are of paramount importance.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how much funding his Department has allocated to each tier 1 local authority in South East England for cycling in each of the last five years.

On 7 February 2020, the Department published a detailed breakdown of annual investment in cycling and walking from 2016/17 to 2018/19 alongside the first report on progress made towards delivering the Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy (CWIS). This includes information on how much funding each local authority received over that period. Copies of the report and other associated information are available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/investment-schedule-in-cycling-and-walking-interventions. An update including a detailed breakdown of annual investment in 2019/20 and 2020/21 will be published in due course. In the meantime, local authority allocations under the Active Travel Fund in 2020/21 are available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/emergency-active-travel-fund-local-transport-authority-allocations/emergency-active-travel-fund-total-indicative-allocations.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
22nd Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether his Department will publish the latest timetable for the construction of the Lodge Hill diamond junction of the A34 in Abingdon.

The Department is not in the lead on this project, which is being promoted and progressed by Oxfordshire County Council (OCC) and funded by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. Highways England is working closely with OCC on the design and modelling of this interchange.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
10th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate he has made of the number of (a) deaths and (b) injuries on the B4044 in the last (i) six months, (ii) 12 months and (iii) five years.

The number of deaths and injuries in reported road accidents on the B4044 for the last 12 months and last 5 years for which data is available can be found in the tables below.

Casualties in reported road accidents by month and severity, on the B4044, 2019

Month

Fatalities

Injured casualties

January

0

0

February

0

0

March

0

3

April

0

0

May

0

0

June

0

1

July

0

2

August

0

1

September

0

1

October

1

0

November

0

0

December

0

0

Total

1

8

Source: DfT, STATS19

Casualties in reported road accidents by severity, on the B4044, 2015-2019

Year

Fatalities

Injured casualties

2015

0

14

2016

1

11

2017

0

5

2018

0

17

2019

1

8

Source: DfT, STATS19

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether his Department has received a bid from Oxfordshire City Council for a walking and cycling path on the B4044 as part of the tranche 2 emergency active travel fund.

Oxfordshire County Council’s bid for funding from tranche 2 of the Emergency Active Travel Fund did not include a bid for funding for this particular scheme. Details of how this scheme is being taken forward can be found on Oxfordshire County Council’s website at https://www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/residents/roads-and-transport/roadworks/major-current-roadworks/botley-road-phase-1 .

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 5 September 2019 to Question 28460 on A34: Oxfordshire, what estimate he has made of the number of (a) deaths and (b) injuries on the A34 in (i) 2018 and (ii) 2019.

The table below shows the number of fatalities and all casualties in reported road accidents on the A34 in Oxfordshire in 2018.

Number of fatalities and all casualties in reported road accidents on the A34 in Oxfordshire in 2018:

Fatalities

All casualties1

1

79

  1. All casualties include fatalities Source: DfT STATS19

Data for 2019 will be published on September 30 2020.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 26 June 2020 to Question 60658 on Renewable energy, what plans his Department has to install more solar panels and wind turbines on its buildings in the next five years.

As part of improving the sustainable performance of our estate, the Department is looking at the feasibility of introducing further renewables to support the decarbonisation process. All options for the introduction of renewables will be explored particularly where they can act as a replacement for systems/functions which currently rely on a fossil fuel source. The additional renewables will form part of our next estates operational sustainability strategy which is being developed to align with the latest Greening Government Commitments framework of targets and also the development of a trajectory towards Net Zero.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 23 June 2020 to Question 59354 on Energy, what proportion of the electricity used by his Department's buildings in (a) each of the last five years and (b) 2020 to date was produced by solar panels and wind turbines on those buildings.

The requested information is as follows:

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020 (to 31/03/20)

Renewables as % of total electricity consumption

0.18

0.14

0.13

0.13

0.13

0.14

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to allocate emergency covid-19 funding to providers of school transport that have reduced commercial viability as a result of social distancing regulations in (a) England, (b) Oxfordshire, (c) Oxford, and (d) Abingdon.

On 8 August, the Department for Transport announced a further funding package for bus operators with rolling funding at up to £27.3 million per week until a time when the funding is no longer needed. Also on 8 August the Department for Education announced a new £40 million funding package for local authorities to support home to school transport. This funding can be used for a variety of transport types/providers as appropriate, including coaches, bus vehicles, community transport vehicles, taxis and private hire vehicles, and SEND (Special Educational Needs Disability) transport.

In addition, the Department for Transport has provided support and grants totalling £7.25 million to local authorities to develop a Travel Demand Management Plan to understand school and work travel patterns and ensure there is safe and sufficient transport for schools.

While the Government will do what we can to support local authorities, solutions must be locally led, with local authorities working closely with transport operators and schools/colleges to identify local area needs and decide the best way to increase capacity, while ensuring value for money of this new funding.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
15th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps the Government is taking to use public transport capacity monitoring technology to help restore public confidence in the public transport network during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Department maintains regular contact with transport operators on a range of issues affecting the network, including capacity and messaging during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

The rail industry supported by government is taking a variety of approaches to keep passengers informed about what’s happening across the rail network. National Rail Enquiries (NRE) is making a range of real time updates available across its platforms based on operational train data provided by the train operators and industry systems. Additionally, the NRE Alert Me service as announced by the Secretary of State at a No10 press conference on May 23rd helps passengers to stagger their journeys and avoid busy hotspots on the rail network, allowing passengers to travel safely and maintain social distancing.

To manage the expected increased demand for public transport, the Department is seeking to provide travel demand management support to local authorities in England outside London. However, it is clear that solutions must be locally led between transport authorities and operators.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to ensure public access to the Zipabout Passenger Connect service.

The Zipabout Passenger Connect service is freely available through the National Rail Enquiries (NRE) Alert Me service for anyone to sign up to via the website link (here: https://www.nationalrail.co.uk/times_fares/208333.aspx). The Department is working with NRE on increasing the visibility and promotion of the messaging service on the website and app.

Work is underway currently to consider how we can roll out similar services to users of other public transport.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
8th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how much Cycle and Walking Investment strategy funding has been allocated to the Oxford to Cambridge Arc since 2018.

Government funding for the Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy (CWIS) includes ringfenced and non-ringfenced funds. On the 7th February 2020 the Department published the first CWIS report to parliament which provides details of the funding that has been made available to all local authorities for cycling and walking under various funding streams.

In 2018/19 the Oxford to Cambridge Arc local authorities received a total of approximately £2 million of ringfenced funding from the Access Fund, Bikeability and the Cycle Safety Fund. Bedford, Peterborough and Northamptonshire also received support to develop Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans (LCWIPS). Cycling and walking funding figures for 2019/20 are not yet available. In the current financial year, the Government is also providing £225 million of funding to combined authorities and local transport authorities under the Emergency Active Travel Fund: details of allocations to all authorities are available via gov.uk.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
23rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate he has made of the number of cyclists killed as a result of poor quality roads in each of the last 10 years.

Contributory factors assigned by police officers do not assign blame for the accident to any specific road user, however they do provide some insight into why and how road accidents occur. They give an indication of which factors the attending officer thought contributed to the accident. Officers do not need to carry out a full investigation of the incident before allocating contributory factors; they usually use professional judgement about what they can see at the scene. Not all accidents are included in the contributory factor data; only accidents where the police attended the scene and reported at least one contributory factor are included.

The number of pedal cyclists killed in road accidents where a contributory factor of ‘Poor or defective road surface’ was reported, in Great Britain, between the years 2009 and 2018 can be found in the below table:

Pedal cyclist killed in accidents where contributory factor1 of 'Poor or defective road surface' was reported, Great Britain, 2009-2018

Year

Number of cyclists killed

2009

1

2010

6

2011

3

2012

3

2013

1

2014

1

2015

1

2016

4

2017

1

2018

3

Source: DfT, STATS19

1 Includes only those killed in accidents where a police officer attended the scene and in which a contributory factor was reported.

Poor or defective road surface

Includes any obvious road surface defect such as potholes and cracks. Also includes roads where a worn surface or poor skid resistance is thought to have contributed to the accident.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
8th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how much funding from the public purse has been disbursed under the plug-in car grant scheme in each financial year since the inception of that scheme.

Number of grant payments of the Plug-in Car Grant in each financial year since the inception of the scheme in in 2010, and the amount of funding from the public purse which has been disbursed under the Plug-in car Grant Scheme in each financial year since the inception of that scheme are shown in the table below.

Programme

Year

Number of grant payments form PiCG

Payments form the public purse.

Plug-in car Grant

2010/11 2011/12 2012/13 2013/14 2014/15 2015/16 2016/17 2017/18 2018/19 2019/20 2020/21 (YTD)

406 849 2320 4953 21768 37841 28964 47963 40382 46561* 113*

£2.0m £4.24m £11.6m £24.5m £108.5m £184.7m £99.1m £150.8m £123.8m £267.4m* £8.4m*

Totals

231850

£985.04m

*The number of individual grant payments and the amount of grant paid from 2019/20 and 2020/21 do not correlate well because there is a delay of up to 9 months between an order being placed on the Plug in Car Grant portal and the vehicle being delivered to the customer, at which point payment is made. Therefore, the number of grant payments (46,561) in 2019/20 will rise as orders for cars which were placed on the portal in FY19/20 are delivered to the customer. Total orders placed in 2019/20, including the 46561 for which payment has been made, were 98508.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
8th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many people have received grants through the plug-in car grant scheme in each financial year since the inception of that scheme.

Number of grant payments of the Plug-in Car Grant in each financial year since the inception of the scheme in in 2010, and the amount of funding from the public purse which has been disbursed under the Plug-in car Grant Scheme in each financial year since the inception of that scheme are shown in the table below.

Programme

Year

Number of grant payments form PiCG

Payments form the public purse.

Plug-in car Grant

2010/11 2011/12 2012/13 2013/14 2014/15 2015/16 2016/17 2017/18 2018/19 2019/20 2020/21 (YTD)

406 849 2320 4953 21768 37841 28964 47963 40382 46561* 113*

£2.0m £4.24m £11.6m £24.5m £108.5m £184.7m £99.1m £150.8m £123.8m £267.4m* £8.4m*

Totals

231850

£985.04m

*The number of individual grant payments and the amount of grant paid from 2019/20 and 2020/21 do not correlate well because there is a delay of up to 9 months between an order being placed on the Plug in Car Grant portal and the vehicle being delivered to the customer, at which point payment is made. Therefore, the number of grant payments (46,561) in 2019/20 will rise as orders for cars which were placed on the portal in FY19/20 are delivered to the customer. Total orders placed in 2019/20, including the 46561 for which payment has been made, were 98508.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans his Department has to add cycling statistics to the transport slide presented at the daily covid-19 press conferences; and when he plans to make that addition.

The slides at the daily Downing Street press conferences are kept under constant review.

The Department is continually gathering evidence from a variety sources in order to monitor changes in cycling levels.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment (a) his Department and (b) Highways England has made of the effect of covid-19 restrictions on the completion date for the Lodge Hill diamond interchange on the A34.

The Lodge Hill interchange is being progressed and developed by Oxfordshire County Council (OCC). Highways England is working closely with OCC on the design and modelling of this interchange. The assessment of the effect of COVID-19 restrictions on the completion date for this project would be for OCC to comment on as scheme promoter.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he is taking steps to ensure that the transport and logistics industry is financially supported to safeguard the viability of businesses during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government recognises the importance of safeguarding the viability of businesses in the transport and logistics sector. That is why the Government has announced an unprecedented package of financial measures to support businesses through the COVID-19 pandemic, worth £350 billion.

Bespoke interventions have been used to protect critical services across many forms of transport, including lifeline services for remote locations. Any such intervention to support specific businesses must represent value for money for the taxpayer.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment he has made on the effect of the covid-19 pandemic on the transport and logistics industry.

The Department continues to collect, receive and assess data about the transport and logistics industry. This includes in respect of the level of transport and logistics operations and labour availability. The effects of the pandemic have been substantial and varied across the industry.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
18th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether his Department plans to take steps to support taxi drivers unable to renew their licences due to the covid-19 outbreak.

The Department for Transport is aware of concerns raised by the industry over potential delays to the renewal of taxi and private hire vehicle licences and will be looking at this further.

Those that are self-employed or earning below the Lower Earnings Limit of £118 per week and have COVID-19 or are advised to self-isolate can now more easily make a claim for Universal Credit or new style Employment and Support Allowance. There is also a monthly advance available.

Those self-employed or who own a business and are concerned about not being able to pay tax bills because of COVID-19, they may be eligible for support through HMRC’s Time to Pay service.

For small companies who are eligible for Small Business Rates Relief who could provide relief; funding for the scheme will be provided to local authorities by government in early April.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
18th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether his Department plans to issue guidance for local authorities on supporting taxi drivers who cannot renew their licences during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Department for Transport is aware of concerns raised by the industry over potential delays to the renewal of taxi and private hire vehicle licences and will be looking at this further.

Those that are self-employed or earning below the Lower Earnings Limit of £118 per week and have COVID-19 or are advised to self-isolate can now more easily make a claim for Universal Credit or new style Employment and Support Allowance. There is also a monthly advance available.

Those self-employed or who own a business and are concerned about not being able to pay tax bills because of COVID-19, they may be eligible for support through HMRC’s Time to Pay service.

For small companies who are eligible for Small Business Rates Relief who could provide relief; funding for the scheme will be provided to local authorities by government in early April.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when his Department plans to make an announcement on the proposed construction of an A39 Camelford bypass.

The A39 Camelford bypass scheme proposal has been submitted for consideration under the Major Road Network and Large Local Majors programme.

Officials are working with the Local Authority to support them as they develop the scheme. A decision regarding the scheme’s further development is due shortly.

12th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the decision by Great Western Railway to withdraw from the easitNETWORK scheme on (a) traffic congestion, (b) air quality and (c) carbon emissions in (i) Oxfordshire and (ii) other counties.

The franchise agreement allows train operators to participate at their discretion in a wide range of schemes of benefit to passengers without seeking Secretary of State consent, but does not mandate non-national schemes.

We are committed to taking decisive action on the recommendation of the Williams Rail Review this year. Fare transformation is already underway in the form of a single-leg fares trial on LNER and the announcement of flexible season ticket trial for passengers travelling on certain routes with GTR, due to launch later this year. We have also established a new ‘fares trials fund’, to kick start further trials this year across the country. These will save thousands of passengers money, and provide the foundations for reform of the whole fares system.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
12th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what representations he has made to Great Western Railway on their decision to withdraw from the easitNETWORK scheme.

The franchise agreement allows train operators to participate at their discretion in a wide range of schemes of benefit to passengers without seeking Secretary of State consent, but does not mandate non-national schemes.

We are committed to taking decisive action on the recommendation of the Williams Rail Review this year. Fare transformation is already underway in the form of a single-leg fares trial on LNER and the announcement of flexible season ticket trial for passengers travelling on certain routes with GTR, due to launch later this year. We have also established a new ‘fares trials fund’, to kick start further trials this year across the country. These will save thousands of passengers money, and provide the foundations for reform of the whole fares system.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
12th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to support schemes such as the easitNETWORK scheme that operates on Great Western Railway to encourage more people to use public transport instead of their car.

The franchise agreement allows train operators to participate at their discretion in a wide range of schemes of benefit to passengers without seeking Secretary of State consent, but does not mandate non-national schemes.

We are committed to taking decisive action on the recommendation of the Williams Rail Review this year. Fare transformation is already underway in the form of a single-leg fares trial on LNER and the announcement of flexible season ticket trial for passengers travelling on certain routes with GTR, due to launch later this year. We have also established a new ‘fares trials fund’, to kick start further trials this year across the country. These will save thousands of passengers money, and provide the foundations for reform of the whole fares system.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
12th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will host a meeting between representatives of (a) Great Western Railway, (b) easitNETWORK and (c) Honourable Members who represent constituents who use the easitNETWORK scheme to discuss how Great Western Railway could continue to participate in that scheme.

The franchise agreement allows train operators to participate at their discretion in a wide range of schemes of benefit to passengers without seeking Secretary of State consent, but does not mandate non-national schemes.

We are committed to taking decisive action on the recommendation of the Williams Rail Review this year. Fare transformation is already underway in the form of a single-leg fares trial on LNER and the announcement of flexible season ticket trial for passengers travelling on certain routes with GTR, due to launch later this year. We have also established a new ‘fares trials fund’, to kick start further trials this year across the country. These will save thousands of passengers money, and provide the foundations for reform of the whole fares system.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
10th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions he has had with local authorities in (a) 2019 and (b) 2020 on the viability of Ox-Cam Arc housing targets in the event that the Oxford-Cambridge expressway project is cancelled.

In developing a business case for the expressway, appropriate account has been taken of the housing growth that is already being planned in the area and both the Department and Highways England have engaged with local authorities across the Oxford-Cambridge Arc including about their local plans. We will provide an update on whether the project should continue in due course.

Grant Shapps
Secretary of State for Transport
9th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 7 January 2020 to Question 217, when his Department will be able provide an update on whether the Oxford to Cambridge Expressway will go ahead.

I refer the hon Member to the answer I gave on 7 January 2020 to Question UIN 217.

9th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 7 January 2020 to Question 221, if he will work with Highways England and Oxfordshire County Council to bring forward the completion of the A34 Lodge Hull junction upgrade to before early 2022.

Officials have been asked to facilitate discussions between Oxfordshire County Council and Highways England as they look at opportunities to help bring forward the current schedule for completion of the scheme.

19th Dec 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what effect his Department's proposed review of the Oxford to Cambridge Expressway will have on the (a) timescale and (b) viability of the consultation process for the project planned by Highways England.

We will provide an update on whether the project should continue in due course.

19th Dec 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the timescale is for the delivery of the Lodge Hill diamond interchange on the A34 following recent delays by Highways England.

The A34 Lodge Hill junction upgrade is being progressed and developed by Oxfordshire County Council as the scheme promotor. I understand Highways England are working closely with the County to help develop the design and modelling for the upgrade. I believe the County are currently aiming to begin construction of the scheme in early 2021, subject to approval from Highways England, with completion in early 2022.

19th Dec 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what effect his Department's planned review of the Oxford to Cambridge Expressway will have on the delivery of the Lodge Hill diamond interchange upgrade to the A34.

The Oxford to Cambridge Expressway project has no effect on Oxford County Council’s delivery of the Lodge Hill diamond interchange upgrade.

19th Dec 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he plans to consult the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government on the housing targets for the Oxford-Cambridge Arc in light of his Department's recent decision to review the Oxford to Cambridge Expressway project.

We will provide an update on whether the project should continue in due course.

19th Dec 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the timeline is for his Department's planned review of the proposed Oxford to Cambridge Expressway.

We will provide an update on whether the project should continue in due course.

19th Dec 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of his Department's planned review of the proposed Oxford to Cambridge Expressway.

We will provide an update on whether the project should continue in due course.

21st May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate she has made of the levels of child poverty in (a) England and (b) Oxford West and Abingdon constituency.

This Government is wholly committed to tackling poverty. Throughout the pandemic, our priority has been to support the most vulnerable including through spending an additional £7.4billion to strengthen the welfare system, taking our total expenditure on welfare support for people of working age to an estimated £112 billion in 2020/21. Additionally, in December 2020 we introduced our Covid Winter Grant Scheme, providing funding to Local Authorities in England to enable them to support people with food and essential utility bills during the coldest months. It will now run until June as the Covid Local Support Grant, with a total investment of £269m.

National Statistics on the number and percentage of children in low income are published annually in the “Households Below Average Income” publication. Data for Oxford West and Abingdon is unavailable due to insufficient sample size.

Latest statistics for the levels of children who are in low income in England, covering 2019/20, can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/households-below-average-income-for-financial-years-ending-1995-to-2020,“children-hbai-timeseries-1994-95-2019-20-tables” in table 4.16ts (relative low income, before and after housing costs) and in table 4.22ts (absolute low income, before and after housing costs).

In the three years to 2019/20, the absolute child poverty rate, before housing costs, in England was 18%, down 3 percentage points since the three years to 2009/10

The Department now publishes supplementary official statistics on the number of children in low income families at constituency level. Children in Low Income Families data is published annually.

The latest figures on the number of children who are in low income in Oxford West and Abingdon and in England, covering 2019/20, can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/children-in-low-income-families-local-area-statistics-2014-to-2020/children-in-low-income-families-local-area-statistics-fye-2015-to-fye-2020.

Due to methodological differences, the figures in these two publications are not comparable.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
21st May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the effect of the £20 uplift in universal credit on levels of child poverty in (a) England and (b) Oxford West and Abingdon constituency.

No assessment has been made.

This Government is wholly committed to supporting those on low incomes, including by increasing the living wage, and by spending an estimated £112 billion on welfare support for people of working age in 2020/21. This included around £7.4 billion of Covid-related welfare policy measures.

We introduced our Covid Winter Grant Scheme providing funding to Local Authorities in England to help the most vulnerable children and families stay warm and well fed during the coldest months. It will now run until June as the Covid Local Support Grant, with a total investment of £269m.

As the economy recovers, our ambition is to help people move into and progress in work as quickly as possible based on clear evidence around the importance of employment, particularly where it is full-time, in substantially reducing the risks of poverty. We are investing over £30 billion in our ambitious Plan for Jobs which is already delivering for people of all ages right across the country.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate she has made of the number of companies that have received workplace inspections in respect of covid-19 from the Health and Safety Executive to date.

HSE’s recording systems do not readily allow the number of companies inspected to be identified. To do so would require HSE officials to manually retrieve the data, which would incur disproportionate costs.

An estimate of the number of companies inspected can be derived from the number of COVID-19 spot checks carried out, although there will be instances where a company has been inspected more than once where they have multiple sites e.g. a construction company may have more than one of their construction sites inspected.

Since March 2020, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has carried out a programme of interventions to check how businesses are implementing measures to reduce transmission of COVID-19 at their sites.

As at 15 April 2021, HSE has completed 194,641 COVID-19 spot checks.

Whenever HSE visits a workplace, irrespective of the purpose of the visit it always reviews COVID-19 control measures and if needed will take appropriate action to address any control failings.

Notes:

(i) Figures represent interventions across all sectors, including both public and private sector duty holders.

(ii) Figures were obtained from HSE’s live operational database and are subject to change, e.g., as there can be a delay of up to ten working days before information is uploaded onto the system.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate she has made of the number of (a) successful and (b) overall applications made to the Kickstart Scheme in Oxfordshire.

As of 18th March there was over 15,000 applications to the Department of Work and Pensions’ Kickstart Scheme nationally.

We are not able to publish a breakdown of this information below regional level.

Although care is taken when processing and analysing Kickstart applications, referrals and starts, the data collected might be subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large-scale recording system which has been developed quickly. The management information presented here has not been subjected to the usual standard of quality assurance associated with official statistics, but is provided in the interests of transparency.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 26 June 2020 to Question 60659 on Renewable energy, what plans her Department has to install solar panels and wind turbines on its buildings in the next five years.

DWP is in the process of drafting and internally socialising its Carbon & Utilities Management Plan, covering 2020 to 2025 to meet the Greening Government Commitments targets and the UK Net Zero Carbon emissions trajectory. DWP’s approach is to reduce emissions utilising the Energy Management Hierarchy. With this in mind, and when the plan is agreed, we will commit to investigate opportunities to reduce site energy and building baseloads and where economics are favourable whilst using our Crown Commercial Services frameworks we will consider but not limit ourselves to the following renewable & low or zero carbon schemes:

1. District Heat Networks (DHNs)

We will commit to explore and work with UK city wide DHN developments to decarbonise the heat demand within our buildings.

2. Water/ground/air source heat pumps

We will commit to carry out Low or Zero Carbon studies where we instruct new builds and major refurbishments.

3. Photovoltaic and thermal installations

We will commit to exploring utilising our car parks and building rooftops for solar PV and solar thermal systems.

4. Wind generators

We will commit to reviewing our sites to assess the practicality of using wind turbine technology.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
23rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, when a Minister from her Department last visited a food bank on an official visit.

Ministers engage closely with food bank providers and I meet regularly with the Trussell Trust. The Secretary of State and I held an independent foodbank provider roundtable meeting on 12 February.

Ministers in the Department also visit food banks on a regular basis. The most recent official visit was made by Baroness Stedman Scott on 30 January. The Department has been respecting Governmental guidelines around non-essential travel but is maintaining close contact with its stakeholders until normal visits and roundtables can be resumed. This includes those in the food bank sector.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people have had their benefits capped since January 31st 2020; and how many of those caps were still in place on 1 June 2020.

The information requested is not readily available and to provide it would incur disproportionate cost.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
3rd Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will make it her policy to undertake a universal basic income pilot in Kingston upon Hull; and whether she has made an estimate of the timescale for the implementation of such pilots.

The Department for Work and Pensions does not have any plans to undertake a pilot of universal basic income (UBI).

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many and what proportion of PCR tests of arrivals from amber list countries have been sequenced for new variants in each month of 2021 to date.

The Department of Health and Social Care has indicated that it will not be possible to answer this question within the usual time period. An answer is being prepared and will be provided as soon as it is available.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 29 April 2021 to Question 180586 on Travel: Quarantine, what estimate he has made of the number of people arriving in the UK who have entered covid-19 hotel quarantine as a proportion of total arrivals from red list countries since that quarantine measure was introduced.

The Department of Health and Social Care has indicated that it will not be possible to answer this question within the usual time period. An answer is being prepared and will be provided as soon as it is available.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate the Government has made of the number of people who have deleted the NHS covid-19 application after installing it.

We have made no specific estimate as this information is not currently held. We are considering what further metrics we may be able to publish about app usage.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 23 July 2020 to Question 70487, how many and what proportion of claims to the NHS and Social Care Coronavirus Life Assurance Scheme have been successful (a) in 2020, (b) in 2021 and (c) to date.

The Department of Health and Social Care has indicated that it will not be possible to answer this question within the usual time period. An answer is being prepared and will be provided as soon as it is available.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make an assessment of the potential effect of the Government's decision to ease covid-19 restrictions on 19 July 2021 on the projected number of long covid cases in the next 12 months; and if he will make a statement.

The Department of Health and Social Care has indicated that it will not be possible to answer this question within the usual time period. An answer is being prepared and will be provided as soon as it is available.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the list of covid-19 symptoms that make individuals eligible for a PCR test will be updated to take into account symptoms of the delta variant of that virus.

Experts keep the symptoms under review as our understanding of the virus develops. We are assessing the data from the COVID Symptom Study, in addition to other surveillance studies and will update our guidance if necessary.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 24 May 2021 to Question 4016 on Coronavirus, what progress his Department has made on enabling patients to track long covid symptoms using existing apps.

NHS England offers those patients who have been referred to the ‘Your COVID Recovery’ online recovery programme a range of validated outcome scales for tracking their symptoms. NHS England is currently adapting these tools for open access and will make them available to anyone who visits the ‘Your COVID Recovery’ site.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate his Department has made of the number of novel foods that have been approved since the UK's departure from the EU; and what assessment he has made of the effect of novel foods regulations on the UK insect foods market.

No novel foods have been approved for the United Kingdom market since departure from the European Union. The Food Standards Agency has had frequent discussions with the insect industry to help potential applicants understand and prepare for the authorisation process.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Answer of 26 April 2021 to Question 179462 on Coronavirus, what the (a) status and (b) proposal detail of the work commissioned by NHSX is.

Officials are currently exploring which existing apps allow patients to track ‘long’ COVID-19 symptoms and how the existing digital resources on ‘Your COVID Recovery’ may be improved.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 13 April 2021 to Question 176020 on Hospitals: Parking, what criteria will inform his decision to reintroduce car parking charges for NHS staff working at NHS hospitals in England as covid-19 lockdown restrictions are eased.

Any such assessment of the reintroduction of car parking charges will be made once the pandemic abates. The Government has also committed that staff working night shifts will no longer have to pay for car parking from April 2021.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 13 April 2021 to Question 176020 on Hospitals: Parking, how much notice in days he plans to provide to NHS staff working at NHS hospitals in England prior to the reintroduction those car parking charges.

Any such assessment of the reintroduction of car parking charges will be made once the pandemic abates. The Government has also committed that staff working night shifts will no longer have to pay for car parking from April 2021.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 13 April 2021 to Question 176020 on Hospitals: Parking, at what stage in the Government's roadmap for the easing of covid-19 restrictions he plans to reintroduce car parking charges for NHS staff working at NHS hospitals in England.

Any such assessment of the reintroduction of car parking charges will be made once the pandemic abates. The Government has also committed that staff working night shifts will no longer have to pay for car parking from April 2021.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Apr 2021
What recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of adult social care funding allocated to Oxfordshire County Council.

Our priority is ensuring that councils have the resources to manage the immediate and long-term impacts of the pandemic.

In 2020-21, Oxfordshire County Council received £16.5 million specifically for adult social care, to support its COVID-19 response.

This year, alongside the ability to raise funding through the precept, it will receive £12.6 million through the Social Care Grant and £4.1 million through the Infection Control and Testing Fund.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the number of people arriving in the UK who have entered covid-19 hotel quarantine as a proportion of total arrivals from red list countries since that quarantine measure was introduced.

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before prorogation.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the number of people arriving in the UK who have entered covid-19 hotel quarantine as a proportion of total arrivals since those quarantine measures were introduced.

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before prorogation.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department has plans to set up more genome sequencing centres for the detection of covid-19 variants.

There are existing plans in progress to implement genome sequencing capabilities within existing public health laboratories that will enable rapid sequencing and analysis of COVID-19 samples and to create a rapid integrated test and sequencing system within existing Departmental facilities to provide rapid test, sequencing and analysis of COVID-19 pillar 2 samples. These new operations will launch in phases between May and September 2021. In parallel, existing sequencing capacity is being expanded to maintain the highest levels of national surveillance of COVID-19.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of his Department's spending on external consultants working on long Covid to date.

NHSX commissioned work to explore a patient-facing self-monitoring ‘long’ COVID-19 solution at a cost of £205,000.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department has plans to create a social care workforce strategy to regulate fluctuations in agency rates.

The vast majority of care workers, including agency workers, are employed by private organisations who set their pay. Both the National Minimum Wage and the National Living Wage apply across social care and we expect local authorities to work with providers to determine a fair rate of pay.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many children's social care cases were (a) reported to and (b) taken forward by Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hubs after being initially reported in (i) England and (ii) Oxfordshire in each month in 2021 to date.

This information is not collected centrally.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether (a) he and (b) his Ministers have visited a long covid clinic to date.

My Rt hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care visited University College London Hospital’s post-COVID-19 clinic service on 21 October 2020.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to reintroduce parking charges for NHS staff working at NHS hospitals in England following the covid-19 outbreak.

Hospital car parks are free for National Health Service staff for this pandemic and this remains the Government’s position.

From its introduction in March 2020 and until October 2020, any loss of income was covered by the COVID-19 reimbursement provided to trusts. Since October 2020, funding for the delivery of free staff parking has been included as part of trusts’ overall system allocation.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of lateral flow testing in schools in (a) 2020 and (b) 2021 to date.

We do not publish data in format requested.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many lateral flow tests have been bought for schools in (a) 2020 and (b) 2021 to date.

To date the Department has issued at least 32.5 million lateral flow device test kits to secondary schools and colleges and at least 15.6 million kits to primary schools and nurseries.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
25th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to his oral contribution of 21 January 2021, Official Report, column 1126, what specific plans his Department has for ensuring that those in the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation Priority Groups displaced by flooding receive the covid-19 vaccine; and if he will make a statement.

Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, and Berkshire West Integrated Care System is working in partnership with the district council, who are responsible for flood mitigation plans. In instances where constituents have been displaced due to flooding, temporary registration with a local general practitioner can be arranged.

The Oxford Vaccine Delivery Group has confirmed that all eligible patients from priority groups one to nine have been contacted to be offered a vaccination.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
15th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to respond to Question 103615, tabled on 14 October 2020 by the hon. Member for Oxford West and Abingdon.

We take parliamentary scrutiny incredibly seriously and it is fundamentally important that hon. Members are provided with accurate and timely information to enable them to hold the Government to account. We are working rapidly to provide all Members with accurate answers to their questions, as well as supporting the Government’s response to the unprecedented challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The hon. Member’s question will be answered as soon as possible.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to reinstate publication of cancelled elective operations data.

Due to COVID-19 outbreak and the need to release capacity across the National Health Service to support the response, NHS England paused the collection and publication of some of their official statistics. This includes data on cancelled elective operations, and this dataset will remain paused during Quarter 4 of 2020/21.

NHS England will keep the list and dates of paused publications under review ahead of Quarter 1 of 2021/22 to establish if collections should be reinstated or paused.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what contingency plans his Department has put in place to ensure the uninterrupted supply from the EU of (a) fluids for peritoneal dialysis and (b) other critical specialist medications needed to maintain life and wellbeing for kidney transplant patients after 1 January 2021.

The Government’s priority is to ensure that patients continue to have access to the medicines they need, including fluids for peritoneal dialysis and other medicines critical to kidney transplant patients. The Department continues to work closely with the pharmaceutical industry, the devolved administrations, the National Health Service and others in the supply chain to deliver the shared goal of continuity of safe patient care by mitigating any potential disruption to the supply of medicines into the United Kingdom at the end of the transition period.

As set out in a letter the Department sent to the pharmaceutical industry on 17 November 2020, the Department is implementing a multi-layered approach, that involves asking suppliers of medicines and medical products to the UK from or via the European Union to get themselves ‘trader ready’, reroute their supply chains away from any potential disruption and stockpile to a target level of six weeks on UK soil where this is possible. The letter is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/letter-to-medicines-and-medical-products-suppliers-17-november-2020

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
23rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many people have had to wait for (a) 24 hours, (b) between two and three days, (c) between four to seven days and (d) more than one week to be told to isolate by the NHS Test and Trace service after having been in contact with someone infected with the covid-19 virus.

NHS Test and Trace does not hold data in the format requested.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has for the use of lateral flow covid-19 tests in (a) schools and (b) other education settings.

Rapid lateral flow device testing is available for staff in secondary schools, colleges, primary, school-based nurseries and maintained nursery schools.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many local authorities in England who applied to the National Silver and Gold Committees to move up a tier of the local covid alert levels had their applications (a) accepted and (b) rejected by the Gold Committee; and when those requests were made.

There is no application process for local authorities to ask the ‘Gold’ or ‘Silver’ committees to change their tier their area is in.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, which local authorities in England have applied to the National Silver and Gold Committees to move up a tier of the local covid alert levels; which of those local authorities had their application (a) accepted and (b) rejected by the Gold Committee; and when each of those applications was made.

There is no application process for local authorities to ask the ‘Gold’ or ‘Silver’ committees to change their tier their area is in.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
14th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of weekly testing for (a) domiciliary care workers and (b) nominated external visitors within care home settings.

Since 23 November 2020, domiciliary care organisations have been able to access regular weekly COVID-19 testing for their staff. Those working for Care Quality Commission registered organisations are able to access weekly polymerase chain reaction tests to undertake at home, which will help to identify more asymptomatic cases and protect people receiving care and support.

From 8 March, every care home resident will be able to nominate a single named visitor who will be able to enter the care home for regular visits. These visitors should be tested using the supplied rapid lateral flow tests at every visit. Those residents with the highest care needs can nominate an ‘essential care giver’ who will be supported to follow the same testing arrangements and personal protective equipment and infection control arrangements as care home staff. Visits in exceptional circumstances including end of life should always be supported and enabled.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans the Government has for eligibility for potential covid-19 vaccines for people with long covid symptoms.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) are the independent experts who advise Government on prioritisation at a population level. Based on scientific analysis and modelling data, the JCVI will advise on which cohorts of the United Kingdom’s population will be eligible for vaccination, should a safe and effective vaccine be found. This will depend on factors such as the properties of the vaccine, those most at need (including frontline health and social care workers) and the unique medical circumstances of individuals.

The committee’s interim advice is that the vaccine should first be given to care home residents and staff, followed by people over 80 and health and social workers, then to the rest of the population in order of age and risk. Further work is being undertaken to understand more about the groups most at risk of serious disease and death from COVID-19 infection. Any advice will need to be modified depending on the characteristics of the vaccines, when these become available.

We will consider the Committee’s advice carefully as we continue to plan for a vaccination campaign.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to provide access to the NHS COVID-19 app for people with phones that are unable to use the current software.

We have always known that some people's phones would not be able to support the app. This is the same in all countries with apps using the Google and Apple exposure notification API for contact tracing. However, the app works on the vast majority of handsets – approximately nine out of 10 in the United Kingdom and this proportion will increase as people upgrade their handsets. We recognise that not everyone has a smartphone or is in a position to upgrade they handset. The NHS COVID-19 app is only one part of the wider NHS Test and Trace system and for those who cannot use the app, advice is available via NHS 119 and the phone-based contact tracing system.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to allocate resources to the Government's rapid, comprehensive study of long covid.

The Department invests £1 billion per year in health research through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). Together with UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), the NIHR has invested £8.4 million in the Post-HOSPitalisation COVID-19 study (PHOSP-COVID), investigating the long-term health impacts of coronavirus on hospitalised patients. To ensure the best use of National Health Service resources for clinical research during the acute phase of the pandemic, the NIHR established a process to prioritise COVID-19 research as Urgent Public Health Research. The NIHR Clinical Research Network is supporting prioritised studies by fast tracking their local set-up, management and delivery. PHOSP-COVID was prioritised through this process on 1 July 2020.

On 31 July, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care convened a roundtable meeting with researchers and clinicians to establish what more can be done to understand and mitigate the long-term health effects of COVID-19. The Department recognises the need for further research into the longer-term effects of the virus in those who did not require hospitalisation and is currently considering options for future work in this area.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to Prime Minister's oral contribution of 22 July 2020, Official Report, column 2152, whether he has read the recommendations submitted to him by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Coronavirus; and whether he plans to respond in detail to them.

I replied to the All-Party Parliamentary Group’s letter on 28 January 2021.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to ensure that buffer stocks of (a) prescription medicines and (b) medical products and devices from the UK's EU exit stockpile are being replenished before December 2020; and how many weeks' worth of each such products will be stockpiled.

The Department, in consultation with the devolved administrations and Crown Dependencies, are working with trade bodies, suppliers, and the health and care system to make detailed plans to help ensure continued supply of medicines and medical products to the whole of the United Kingdom at the end of the transition period.

As set out in a letter from the Department to industry of 3 August, we are implementing a multi-layered approach, that involves asking suppliers to get trader ready, reroute their supply chains away from any potential disruption and stockpiling to a target level of six weeks on UK soil where this is possible. The letter is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/letter-to-medicines-and-medical-products-suppliers-3-august-2020/letter-to-medicine-suppliers-3-august-2020

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure access to medical radio-isotopes in the event that an agreement is not reached on a future relationship with the EU by the end of the transition period.

The Department, in consultation with the devolved administrations and Crown Dependencies, is working with trade bodies, product suppliers, and the health and care system in England to make detailed plans to help ensure continued supply of medicines and medical products, including medical radioisotopes and over-the-counter medicines, to the whole of the United Kingdom at the end of the transition period in all scenarios.

The Department understands that a flexible approach to preparedness may be required for medicines that cannot be stockpiled, such as some medical radioisotopes. We have asked suppliers of those products to use airfreight, which some suppliers are already doing now.

Further detail on the plans to help ensure continuity of medical supplies has been communicated to suppliers, and can be found at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/letter-to-medicines-and-medical-products-suppliers-3-august-2020/letter-to-medicine-suppliers-3-august-2020

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether medicines and medical supplies will be treated differently at the UK-EU border to other items following the transition period.

The Border and Protocol Delivery Group’s (BPDG) recently published Border Operating Model sets out the processes for importing and exporting goods, including additional requirements that will be needed for importing and exporting certain medical products, such as medicines that are controlled goods. The Department is working closely with BPDG and HM Revenue and Customs to ensure trader readiness to comply with the Border Operating Model.

To further support the flow of critical goods, medicines and medical products have been designated category 1 status, and we have put in place additional contingencies through our multi-layered approach to help ensure the supply of medicines and medical products at the end of the Transition Period.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that the public have uninterrupted access to over the counter medicines in the event of the UK leaving the EU without a deal.

The Department, in consultation with the devolved administrations and Crown Dependencies, is working with trade bodies, product suppliers, and the health and care system in England to make detailed plans to help ensure continued supply of medicines and medical products, including medical radioisotopes and over-the-counter medicines, to the whole of the United Kingdom at the end of the transition period in all scenarios.

The Department understands that a flexible approach to preparedness may be required for medicines that cannot be stockpiled, such as some medical radioisotopes. We have asked suppliers of those products to use airfreight, which some suppliers are already doing now.

Further detail on the plans to help ensure continuity of medical supplies has been communicated to suppliers, and can be found at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/letter-to-medicines-and-medical-products-suppliers-3-august-2020/letter-to-medicine-suppliers-3-august-2020

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the statement entitled, Government response to the 33rd report of the NHS Pay Review Body, HCWS409, what discussions his Department has had with representatives from social care providers on a pay rise for social care staff in the next year.

The Government does not have direct responsibility for pay awards in adult social care in the same way as for other areas of the public sector. Adult social care providers continue to set the rate of pay for their workers.

The Government nonetheless maintains oversight of the social care system and we are committed to raising the profile of the social care sector. Putting social care on a sustainable footing, where everyone is treated with dignity and respect, is one of the biggest challenges that we face as a society. There are complex questions to address, to which we want to give our full considerations in light of the current circumstances.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 22 June 2020 to Question 60660 on Renewable energy, what plans his Department has to install solar panels and wind turbines on its buildings in the next five years.

The Department has no current plans to install solar panels or wind turbines on its buildings in the next five years.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many people with blood cancer are (a) shielding and (b) of working age.

As of 16 July, NHS Digital data shows that 156,743 haematological cancer patients are currently shielding due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

NHS Digital does not report the haematological cancers numbers by age group.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the cost to the public purse has been of private photographers for his Department in each of the last 12 months.

This data is not centrally held.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to provide mental health support for (a) parents, (b) children aged 0-5, (c) children aged 6-12 and (d) children aged 13-17 who have spent additional time at home as a result of the covid-19 lockdown.

Mental health services have remained open for business throughout lockdown, and NHS England and NHS Improvement have asked mental health trusts to ensure they have 24 hours a day, seven days a week open access telephone lines in place for urgent National Health Service mental health support, advice and triage for all ages, including all children and young people.

We have also taken steps to ensure that children and young people, and their parents and carers, have the tools and knowledge to protect their mental health. We have published guidance to parents and carers on children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing, and we are promoting this through trusted channels like GOV.UK ad Every Mind Matters.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of working with the Happity parent platform to support the mental health of parents and children.

The Department regularly engages with organisations to assess the effectiveness of, and evidence base for, their proposals.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of claims made (a) successfully and (b) overall to the NHS and Social Care Coronavirus Life Assurance Scheme 2020.

The NHS and Social Care Coronavirus Life Assurance (England) Scheme 2020 opened on 20 May 2020. As of 8 July 2020, 51 claim forms have been received, 19 of these have been assessed as eligible and the families notified that the lump sum will be paid once probate is received. The other 32 claim forms are currently being considered and no decision has yet been made. No claim form has yet been found to be ineligible.

No estimate has been made of the costs of successful claims although the upper limit will be the total number of COVID-19 deaths of health and social care staff. Mortality data from the Office for National Statistics shows there were 272 health care deaths and 268 social care deaths involving COVID-19 registered between 9 March and 25 May 2020 (in England, of those aged 20-64 years).

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many and what proportion of claims to the NHS and Social Care Coronavirus Life Assurance Scheme 2020 have been successful.

The NHS and Social Care Coronavirus Life Assurance (England) Scheme 2020 opened on 20 May 2020. As of 8 July 2020, 51 claim forms have been received, 19 of these have been assessed as eligible and the families notified that the lump sum will be paid once probate is received. The other 32 claim forms are currently being considered and no decision has yet been made. No claim form has yet been found to be ineligible.

No estimate has been made of the costs of successful claims although the upper limit will be the total number of COVID-19 deaths of health and social care staff. Mortality data from the Office for National Statistics shows there were 272 health care deaths and 268 social care deaths involving COVID-19 registered between 9 March and 25 May 2020 (in England, of those aged 20-64 years).

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
24th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many days (a) nurses, (b) doctors and (c) other health service staff have taken off work for mental health reasons in each year since 2015.

The following table shows National Health Service sickness absence statistics in annual full time equivalent (FTE) days lost due to mental health related reasons, by staff groups, in the NHS in England, March to February each year, 2015 to 2020.

The sickness absence rate has been provided to account for the increases in the number of doctors, nurses and other staff.

Mental health related absence includes anxiety/stress/depression, other psychiatric illnesses, psychological, stress and other mental disorders.

Doctors

March 2015 -February 2016

March 2016 -February 2017

March 2017 -February 2018

March 2018 -February 2019

March 2019 -February 2020

FTE days lost due to mental health related reasons

89,218

91,188

102,190

120,074

136,771

Sickness absence rate for mental health related absence as a percentage of FTE days available

0.2%

0.2%

0.3%

0.3%

0.3%

Other Staff

March 2015 -February 2016

March 2016 -February 2017

March 2017 -February 2018

March 2018 -February 2019

March 2019 -February 2020

FTE days lost due to mental health related reasons

2,188,226

2,347,086

2,571,263

2,902,457

3,382,200

Sickness absence rate for mental health related absence as a percentage of FTE days available

0.9%

0.9%

1.0%

1.1%

1.2%

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
24th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many assaults on hospital staff there were in each year since 2017.

Data is not collected centrally on assaults against National Health Service staff in England. In the 2019 NHS Staff Survey, 14.9% of respondents experienced physical violence from patients, service users, their relatives or members of the public in the past year.

Any assault, physical or verbal, against NHS staff is unacceptable and should be reported and dealt with through the proper processes. The NHS has recently joined forces with the police and the Crown Prosecution Service in a Joint Agreement on Offences Against Emergency Workers. This provides a framework to ensure effective investigation and prosecution of cases where staff are the victim of a crime and sets out the standards victims of these crimes can expect.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much each of the NHS Nightingale hospitals cost to (a) create and (b) equip.

Current estimates provided by NHS England and NHS Improvement to the Department indicate that the total set up costs for all seven Nightingale sites equates to approximately £220 million.

The following table breaks down the costs by each Nightingale Hospital.

Costs (£000s)

Total Costs

London

57,411

Birmingham

66,408

Manchester

23,471

Harrogate

27,314

Bristol

14,209

Exeter

11,163

Sunderland

20,102

Total

220,078

June 2020

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to allow homosexual and bisexual men to participate in donating antibodies to help in the response to the covid-19 outbreak.

All men must wait three months after having sexual contact with another man before donating blood or blood products. This deferral is based on expert advice from the Advisory Committee on the Safety of Blood, Tissues and Organs.

We recognise that people want to be considered as individuals as much as possible. Separately to the convalescent plasma trial, NHS Blood and Transplant is already working collaboratively with LGBT+ groups on blood donation, through the FAIR (For Assessment of Individualised Risk) steering group. The FAIR group is using an evidence-based approach to explore if a more individualised blood donation risk assessment can be safely and practically introduced, while ensuring the safe supply of blood and blood products to patients. The work of FAIR has been delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic, but it is progressing and the group plans to submit a report before the end of the year. Whether or not any recommended changes to the donor deferral will apply to the convalescent plasma trials is to be confirmed.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of trends in the level of drug prices since the start of the covid-19 outbreak.

The costs of branded medicines are controlled by the 2019 Voluntary Scheme for Branded Medicines Pricing and Access and the statutory scheme for branded medicines.

For unbranded generic medicines the Department relies on competition to keep prices down. This has led to some of the lowest prices in Europe and allows prices to react to the market. In an international market this ensures that when demand is high and supply is low, prices in the United Kingdom can increase to help secure the availability of medicines for UK patients.

We continuously monitor overall movements in changes in prices of medicines through various methods including data from suppliers using the provisions in the Health Service Products (Provision and Disclosure of Information) Regulations 2018. However, it is too early to assess the full financial impact on the National Health Service and pharmacies in light of COVID-19.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the cost to pharmacies of people failing to collect prescriptions in each of the last three months; and if he will make a statement.

The Department has made no such estimate. However, for people, who have been advised to shield, there is the NHS Medicine Delivery Service to ensure they do not need to collect their prescriptions. Pharmacy contractors are remunerated for ensuring the shielded population get their medicines delivered. Where pharmacies make the delivery themselves, they receive payment. Vulnerable people, not those advised to shield, can make use of National Health Service volunteers to get their medicines delivered.

We recognise the financial pressures community pharmacies have been facing due to COVID-19 and, since March, have made available £350 million in extra advance payments to alleviate cash flow pressures.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, which (a) regions and (b) local authority areas have a covid-19 R rate of above one.

The Government Office for Science currently publishes the latest estimate of the United Kingdom-wide range for R on a weekly basis. At the time of writing the current range is estimated to be 0.7-0.9 and is based on latest data available to determine infection and transmission rates. We do not calculate the R rate in different regions or local authority areas.

R is an average number and so can be highly uncertain if based on small quantities of data, for example, the R value for Northern Ireland will be more uncertain than England as the population is smaller and there have been fewer COVID-19 cases to date from which R can be calculated. R is not usually a useful measure on its own and needs to be considered alongside the number of new cases. Because of this uncertainty, The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies’ view is that it is unhelpful to use estimates of R rates to monitor the epidemic in different regions.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many (a) operations and (b) types of operation have been cancelled in each NHS trust in England since the covid-19 lockdown measures were implemented in March 2020.

This data is not available in the format requested.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the cost to the public purse was of consultants advising his Department in each financial year from 2017-18 to 2020-21.

The Department’s expenditure on consultancy services, for each of the available financial years is shown in the following table:

Financial Year

Consultancy Services (£000s)

2017-18

12,402

2018-19

19,829

Figures for 2019-20 are not available as they are still subject to audit. Figures for 2020-21 will be available in July 2021.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the locations are of the 50 regional covid-19 test centres that are being created.

The broad geographical locations were selected with the aim of ensuring that as many people as possible live within 45 minutes of a centre by road. We aim to be responsive to local need and, where possible, consult with local stakeholders and partners before making decisions. We will be publishing the full list and locations of Regional Testing Sites soon.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
23rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions he has had with the Minister for the Cabinet Office on whether cleaning staff are classed as key workers during the covid-19 response.

Guidance for schools, childcare providers, colleges and local authorities in England on maintaining educational provision published on 19 March sets out which workers are considered to be critical to the COVID-19 response.

In relation to the health and social care sector the guidance makes clear that these workers include all front line, specialist and support staff and as well as those employed by contractors and suppliers to the health and social care system. This includes those who provide cleaning services to social care providers, the National Health Service, other health care provision, and to the contractors and suppliers of the wider sector. They all play a critical role in the tackling of this pandemic.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what guidance his Department plans to provide to healthcare providers on the proper use and preparation of personal protective equipment during the covid-19 pandemic.

Public Health England have produced written guidance and demonstration videos for all health and social care staff on the proper use and preparation of personal protective equipment. The written guidance and videos are available on GOV.UK at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-infection-prevention-and-control#PPE

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what procurement guidance his Department provides to (a) NHS trusts and (b) other primary healthcare providers on ensuring the adequacy of supply of personal protective equipment in every hospital required to treat patients with covid-19.

National Health Service trusts will access supplies using existing routes. As part of our normal emergency arrangements we already stockpile personal protective equipment.

Personal protective equipment was distributed to general practices across the country last week. The packs include facemasks, aprons and gloves.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 27 February 2020 to Question 20040, NHS 111: Staff, how many (a) NHS staff, (b) contract staff and (c) volunteers his Department plans to recruit to the NHS 111 service to help mitigate the impact of covid-19.

The National Health Service will be given the resources it needs to deal with the COVID-19 outbreak. Around 500 additional call handlers have already been trained to staff the NHS 111 service, representing an increase of 20%. In addition, the new NHS 111 online service is also available to provide advice and will free up call handlers’ time, so they are able to prioritise those experiencing symptoms.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure that homeless people with (a) alcohol- and (b) drug-related conditions are able to access the support they need.

The Government is aware that homeless people suffer disproportionate harms from drugs and alcohol misuse and has committed to end rough sleeping by the end of this Parliament.

To support this commitment, in the spring Budget the Government has announced £262 million of funding over four years for substance misuse treatment and recovery services for people experiencing rough sleeping or at risk of rough sleeping.

We are also providing £2 million in funding to test ways to improve access to health services for people with co-occurring mental ill-health and substance misuse problems who are currently, or at risk of returning to, sleeping rough.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many (a) NHS staff and (b) contract staff are employed to deliver the NHS 111 service; and how many such staff in each of those categories have been employed to deliver that service in each calendar year since that service has been established.

The Department does not hold the information requested.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that the NHS 111 service is adequately prepared to deal with the potential effect of a future escalation of COVID-19 cases in the UK.

The United Kingdom is extremely well prepared for this type of outbreak – we are one of the first countries in the world to develop a test for the new virus.

The National Health Service is always ready to provide world class care to patients whether they have a common illness, or an infectious disease never seen here before.

A process has been worked through between NHS 111 and Public Health England to provide self-isolation advice, collect and share contact details for anyone who calls and is asymptomatic and reports returning from specific areas with ongoing transmission of COVID-19 within the previous 14 days. NHS 111 has continued to update their algorithms and processes when changes to the case definition have been made.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will publish a readout of his recent call with Samantha Power, Administrator of the US Agency for International Development.

The Foreign Secretary spoke with USAID Administrator, Samantha Power on 19 July. They discussed a number of shared foreign policy and international development priorities, including Afghanistan, the humanitarian crisis in Tigray, our shared agenda to increase green investment in infrastructure, and global vaccine supply. The Foreign Secretary also underlined the UK's desire to see a strong US contribution to the Global Partnership for Education ahead of the replenishment summit hosted jointly by the Prime Minister and President Kenyatta of Kenya on 29 July in London.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the change in ODA budget allocation to girls education in 2021-22 compared to that change in (a) 2020-2021 and (b) 2019-2020.

The FCDO will spend £400 million of bilateral Official Development Assistance (ODA) on girls' education in 2020. We are not a position to draw or comment on comparisons to previous years at this stage. ODA is reported on a calendar year basis, and includes sectoral breakdowns, such as education. The Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office's (FCDO) National Statistics publication, 'Statistics on International Development,' includes this information. Provisional ODA spend for 2020 is available, with sectoral breakdowns due to be published in the autumn. The UK's ODA spend for 2021, including an activity level dataset, will be published in 2021.

The FCDO publishes regular open data through the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI). This operational data covers current live programmes, and will include 2021 spend once business planning is concluded. The raw data can be accessed at IATI Registry, and is shown on the Development Tracker website: https://devtracker.fcdo.gov.uk/

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what plans his Department has as to how the £400 million of ODA funding allocated to girls' education for 2021-2022 will be spent.

We are not able to discuss the specifics for individual programmes whilst we are working through the implications of our programme spending for girls' education with partners. During the business planning process for Official Development Assistance (ODA), we took into account the delivery of our global targets on girls' education - to get 40 million more girls into school, and 20 million more reading in the next 5 years. The UK's ODA spend for 2021, including an activity level dataset, will be published in 2022.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how many doses of coronavirus vaccines the Government has donated to the COVAX scheme to date.

Our G7 Presidency has championed equitable access to vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics. At the G7 Leaders Summit in June, the Prime Minister confirmed that the UK will share 100 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines within the next year, with 30 million of these being donated by the end of 2021. 80% of these will go to COVAX. We are on track to ensure that the first 5 million doses are shared by the end of September, and will make an announcement shortly.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether the UK is on target to reach UN Sustainable Development Goal 10C of reducing the transaction costs of migrant remittances to less than 3 per cent by 2030.

According to the World Bank's data on remittances, the cost of sending £150 and £360 from the UK was 6.44% and 4.69% in Q1 2021. Transfer costs vary considerably depending on the recipient country and payment instrument. For example, the cost of sending £120 from the UK by debit/credit card was about half (4.88%) of the cost of using cash (9.54%) in 2020.

Significant barriers to reduce the transaction costs of sending remittances from the UK to reach the SDG target remain which is why we look to address these barriers collaboratively across-government and internationally to address the constraints in the UK and in recipient countries.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether the £15.8 million he announced on 12 July 2021 for education for children is part of the £430 million announced by the Prime Minister at the G7 summit for the Global Partnership for Education.

No, the £15.8 million announced on 12 July for research to support education for children in conflict and crisis settings is not part of the £430 million announced by the Prime Minister at the G7 summit for the Global Partnership for Education (GPE).

The funding is a separate £15.8 million from FCDO's research budget specifically for research on education in conflict and crisis.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
28th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the role of constitutional issues pertaining to the cultural identity of anglophone Cameroonians and their political marginalisation in the ongoing violence in anglophone Cameroon.

The Government remains deeply concerned about the crisis in the North-West and South-West (Anglophone) regions of Cameroon. We assess that the root causes of the conflict are varied and complex. These include constitutional issues and the different legal and education systems in the Anglophone regions of Cameroon, and the need for sustained political will on all sides to resolve the crisis.

These were discussed at the Grand National Dialogue in 2019 and we continue to urge progress on the issues identified, including further inclusive dialogue to address the root causes of the crisis. In a visit to Cameroon in March, I met President Biya, Prime Minister Ngute and Foreign Minister Mbella Mbella, where I set out the UK's commitment to supporting a peaceful resolution. I also met the President of the South-West Regional Assembly, civil society, political opposition and religious leaders, to hear the experiences of the affected communities.

James Duddridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether the UK is on target to reach UN Sustainable Development Goal 10C of reducing the transaction costs of migrant remittances to less than three per cent by 2030.

Since 2017, the cost of sending remittances from the UK decreased by 1 percentage points, from 7.43% in 2017 to 6.44% in Q4 2020, according to World Bank Group data. Transfer costs vary considerably depending on the recipient country and payment instrument. For example, the cost of sending £120 from the UK by bank account transfer or via debit/credit card was half (4.88%) of the cost of using cash (9.54%) in 2020.

There remain significant barriers to reaching the global SDG target by 2030, including a lack of access to suitable banking services for senders, receivers and Money Transfer Operators, a preference for cash transfers over digital, insufficient price transparency, and illicit finance concerns. The UK's collaborative work across Government and internationally is designed to address constraints both here and in recipient countries.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the Blueprint for Action report entitled Remittances in crisis: Response Recovery Resilience, published November 2020, what discussions he had at the G7 on the recommendation that financial institutions should increase access to clear information on the total costs of sending and receiving remittances.

The Secretary of State covered many pressing areas in his discussions with counterparts during the G7 Leaders' Summit and G7 Foreign and Development Ministerial meetings (including on vaccines, climate, girls' education, and open societies).

The G7 Foreign and Development Ministers agreed to take concrete actions to address priority development finance challenges in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (which covers remittances). Remittances is reflected in Sustainable Development Goal 10.c which aims to reduce to less than 3 per cent the transaction costs of migrant remittances and eliminate remittance corridors with costs higher than 5 per cent by 2030.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether his Department has made an assessment of the potential merits of taking steps to reduce international remittance costs to support developing countries; and if he will set out a roadmap for reducing those costs in line with the UK's ambitions to reach UN Sustainable Development Goal 10C by 2030.

Remittances present a major opportunity for the UK to build strong, effective partnerships with developing countries, help poor people avoid falling further into poverty, and enable migrant incomes to be used productively. International Fund for Agricultural Development estimates that 75 percent of remittances go towards subsistence and of the remaining 25 percent (or £72 billion per year), 10 percent is spent on human capital investments like education and health, and 15 percent on savings and investments in housing, small assets, and other income-generating activities.

FCDO recognises the importance of international remittances and is committed to reducing the associated costs and barriers to ensure that transfers are cheaper, more accessible, and more secure, in line with G20 and SDG targets. The UK's Action Plan, which we agreed to through the G20's Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI), focusses on improving the environment for remittances in the following areas:

  • Increase remittance market competitiveness, including through improvements to the regulatory environment;
  • Improve financial system infrastructure and pursue policies conducive to harnessing emerging technologies; and
  • Improve transparency and consumer protection of remittance transfer services.
Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
7th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 7 June 2021 to Question 7262 on Democratic Republic of Congo: Overseas Aid, what estimate he has made of the value of Official Development Assistance funding allocated to the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2021-22.

Given we are in a one-year spending settlement, FCDO's 2021/22 planned country allocations (budgets) will be published in our Annual Report later this year alongside our audited 2020/21 accounts. The UK government's final 2021 ODA spend, including country data, will be published in the 'Statistics on International Development: Final UK Aid Spend' in autumn 2022. We will continue to publish our spend information by project on DevTracker as always (which is updated monthly).

James Duddridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
27th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of whether British arms exported to Israel were used in recent air strikes on Gaza.

HM Government takes its export control responsibilities very seriously and operates one of the most robust arms export control regimes in the world. We consider all export applications thoroughly against a strict risk assessment framework and keep all licences under careful and continual review as standard. HM Government will not grant an export licence if to do so would be inconsistent with the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
26th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 26 May 2021 to Question 5258, whether a specific impact assessment for the transmission of covid-19 in developing countries was conducted prior to the decision being taken to cancel Official Development Assistance funding to the UK Partnerships for Health Systems programme.

The UK's aid budget has been allocated in accordance with our key strategic priorities, after a cross-government review of how we spend ODA. The Foreign Secretary has agreed he will focus our investment and expertise where the UK can make the most difference and achieve maximum impact. Officials considered any impact on women and girls, the most marginalised and vulnerable, people with disabilities and people from other protected groups, when developing advice to Ministers. While most future activity on the programme is being stopped, existing COVID Response Fund grants are being funded to completion and will support developing country partners to respond to the pandemic and maintain essential health services.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
26th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 25 May 2021 to Question 4015, what assessment he has made of whether any of those exported land rover vehicles were used by Israeli (a) military or (b) police forces in response to protests in Ramallah on Tuesday 18 May 2021.

HM Government takes its export control responsibilities very seriously and operates one of the most robust arms export control regimes in the world. We consider all export applications thoroughly against a strict risk assessment framework. HM Government will not grant an export licence if to do so would be inconsistent with the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
25th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect of reductions to Official Development Assistance spending on the ability of the UK Government to respond effectively to the eruption of Mount Nyiragongo in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The seismic impact of the pandemic on the UK economy has forced us to take tough but necessary decisions, including temporarily reducing the overall amount we spend on aid to 0.5% of GNI. Despite the reductions in Overseas Development Assistance (ODA), the UK will remain one of the largest humanitarian donors in DRC and a world-leading ODA donor. We will spend more than £10 billion this year to fight poverty and respond to humanitarian crises across the globe.

In response to the recent eruption of Mount Nyiragongo, UK-funded partners are already on the ground providing emergency support. The International Federation of the Red Cross Disaster Relief Emergency Fund is providing first aid, water, sanitation, hygiene, shelter and psychological support and working to restore family units. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), one of our major humanitarian partners, is providing support for unaccompanied children and the UN Humanitarian Air Service is providing vital reconnaissance flights in the area. We are working closely with the UN peacekeeping mission (MONUSCO), the UN Office for the Coordination for Humanitarian Affairs and our humanitarian partners to monitor the situation, assess the impact, and deliver further assistance if required.

James Duddridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
25th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what estimate he has made of the value of Official Development Assistance funding spent in (a) the Democratic Republic of Congo and (b) Goma in each of the last five years.

The UK is a longstanding donor to the DRC. Since 2013 the UK has spent over £1.1 billion GBP in bilateral ODA in the DRC. Over the last 5 years this is broken down as follows: 2016/17 - £129.5 million, 2017/18 - £166.2 million, 2018/19 - £203.7 million,2019/20 - £184.6 million, 2020/21 - £132.4 million.

Through this funding, UK aid is:

  • improving health services for up to 10 million people
  • helping 4.7 million children under 5, women and adolescent girls to have better nutrition
  • 4.6 million people will get sustainable access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene services
  • helping 400,000 children get a decent education
  • increased the income of over 800 thousand people, including 240,000 women.

Whilst we do not have disaggregated figures by province, a large part of our focus has been in the East, including in North and South Kivu.

James Duddridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
25th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, which charities operating in the Democratic Republic of Congo have received Official Development Assistance funding in each of the last five years; and what estimate he has made of the value of that funding.

The UK is a longstanding donor to the DRC. Since 2013 the UK has spent over £1.1 billion GBP in bilateral ODA in the DRC. Over the last 5 years this is broken down as follows: 2016/17 - £129.5 million, 2017/18 - £166.2 million, 2018/19 - £203.7 million, 2019/20 - £184.6 'million, 2020/21 - £132.4 million.

The UK delivers through a range of partners including UN, private sector and NGOs. Over the last 5 years the largest charity recipients have been:

IMA World Health

Mercy Corps Europe

Action Against Hunger UK

Concern Worldwide

Through UK funding to IMA, we have supported 2.8 million deliveries attended by a skilled birth attendant, and ensured 2.3 million children under the age of one are fully vaccinated. UK funding to humanitarian partners has provided 1.97 million people with food aid, cash and vouchers to reduce food insecurity and treated over 300,000 cases of severe acute malnutrition.

James Duddridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 24 May 2021 to Question 3134 on Arms Trade: Israel, if his Department will conduct an investigation to determine whether any arms exported under a UK export licence were used in reported attacks on Palestinian civilians in (a) Gaza and (b) the West Bank during the violence of April and May 2021.

HM Government takes its export control responsibilities very seriously and operates one of the most robust arms export control regimes in the world. We consider all export applications thoroughly against a strict risk assessment framework. HM Government will not grant an export licence if to do so would be inconsistent with the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of whether any UK nationals have been affected by the eruption of Mount Nyiragongo in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The British Embassy in Kinshasa and the UK Office in Goma in the Democratic Republic of Congo are in regular contact with the British community in Goma following the eruption of Mount Nyiragongo. FCDO Travel Advice has been updated and includes a contact number for any British Nationals that are concerned about their safety. British Nationals in Goma are advised to follow the guidance of the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo and to remain vigilant.

James Duddridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of whether Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum has been released from house arrest in the United Arab Emirates.

We are aware that the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has asked the UAE Mission in Geneva for further information and proof of life. We will be monitoring the outcome of this closely.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether his Department plans to provide emergency aid funding in response to the eruption of Mount Nyiragongo in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The UK in one of the largest humanitarian donors in DRC. In response to the recent eruption of Mount Nyiragongo, UK-funded partners are already on the ground providing emergency support. The International Federation of the Red Cross Disaster Relief Emergency Fund is providing first aid, water, sanitation, hygiene, shelter and psychological support and working to restore family units. The International Committee of the Red Cross, one of our major humanitarian partners, is providing support for unaccompanied children and the UN Humanitarian Air Service is providing vital reconnaissance flights in the area. We are working closely with the UN peacekeeping mission (MONUSCO), the UN Office for the Coordination for Humanitarian Affairs and our humanitarian partners to monitor the situation, assess the impact, and deliver further assistance if required.

James Duddridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether he has made an assessment of the effect of reducing Official Development Assistance funding to the Mines Advisory Group on the people's lives in countries where that charity operates.

The FCDO's aid budget has been allocated in accordance with UK strategic priorities against the challenging financial context of COVID-19. Officials considered any impact on women and girls, the most marginalised and vulnerable, people with disabilities and people from other protected groups, when developing advice to Ministers. The FCDO carried out a central Equalities Impact Assessment which looked at our bilateral country spending.

As the Foreign Secretary said at the International Development Committee on 22 April, the FCDO has been engaging with NGOs and others and will be listening to feedback on the plan set out. We are working closely with the Mines Advisory Group to allocate demining funding in a way that maximises impact for people affected by mines.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether his Department made an assessment of the potential effect of suspending Official Development Assistance funding to the UK Partnerships for Health Systems programme on efforts to tackle the covid-19 pandemic in developing countries prior to that decision being taken.

The aid budget has been allocated in accordance with UK strategic priorities against a challenging financial climate of COVID. Officials considered any impact on women and girls, the most marginalised and vulnerable, people with disabilities and people from other protected groups, when developing advice to Ministers.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of whether armoured land rovers exported from the UK under arms export licences have been used in reported attacks on Palestinian civilians in the West Bank in the week to 18 May 2021; and if he will make a statement.

HM Government takes its export control responsibilities very seriously and operates one of the most robust arms export control regimes in the world. We consider all our export applications thoroughly against a strict risk assessment framework and keep all licences under careful and continual review as standard. HM Government will not grant an export licence if to do so would be inconsistent with the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether Israeli F-35 aircrafts, of which each plane includes a 15 per cent UK work share, are being used in the air strikes on Gaza; and what steps he has taken to determine whether planes being used in the air strikes in Gaza include UK components.

The ongoing violence across Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories is deeply concerning and must stop. We urge all parties to de-escalate. Israel has a legitimate right to self-defence, and the right to defend its citizens from attack. In doing so, it is vital that all actions are proportionate, in line with International Humanitarian Law, and make every effort to avoid civilian casualties.

All UK arms export licences are assessed thoroughly against a strict risk assessment framework and we keep all licences under careful and continual review as standard.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
27th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the Written Statement of 21 April 2021, FCDO update, HCWS 935, how many hours (a) he, (b) Ministers of his Department and (c) officials of his Department spent with (i) representatives of the Indian Government and (ii) UK diplomatic officials in post in India to consult with them on the new Official Development Assistance allocations for 2021-22 in advance of his Department taking decisions on those allocations.

It has not proved possible to respond to the Hon Member in the time available before Prorogation.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
27th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the Written Statement of 21 April 2021, FCDO update, HCWS 935, for how many hours (a) he, (b) Ministers of his Department and (c) officials of his Department met with diplomatic officials in posts in (i) Yemen, (ii) Myanmar, (iii) Afghanistan, (iv) Somalia, (v) Sudan, (vi) South Sudan, (vii) India and (viii) Ukraine in advance of his Department taking decisions on the Official Development Assistance allocations for 2021-22.

It has not proved possible to respond to the Hon Member in the time available before Prorogation

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
26th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant of the Written Statement of 21 April 2021 on FCDO update, Official Report HCWS935, if he will make it his policy to rollout covid-19 vaccines in the UK and overseas in parallel.

The UK is committed to rapid equitable access to safe and effective vaccines. We are among the largest bilateral contributors to the COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC), committing £548 million in 2020 to support vaccinations in low and middle-income countries. Our contribution included a match funding pledge that helped encourage $1 billion of commitments from other donors.

From February 2021, COVAX AMC participants have received vaccines as their National Deployment and Vaccination Plans (NDVPs) are assessed as ready to receive and deploy vaccines. The UK's support and contribution to COVAX has helped it reach its milestone to supply vaccines to over 100 countries and economies.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
26th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment has made of the progress in establishing child courts in Pakistan; and what support his Department is providing on their creation.

The UK welcomes the recent establishment of child courts across Pakistan, which will ensure that issues affecting children, including child marriage, are more effectively dealt with in Pakistan's legal system. Our Strengthening Rule of Law in Pakistan programme, which concluded in March 2021, has worked to ensure that all of Pakistan can benefit from a fair, equal and transparent justice system that will help ensure a better governed, more prosperous and stable Pakistan.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
26th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the Written Statement of 21 April 2021 on FCDO update, Official Report HCWS935, how much Official Development Assistance his Department allocated to India to aid its covid-19 response in (a) 2020-21 and (b) 2021-22.

We stand side by side with India as a friend and partner during what is a deeply concerning time in the fight against COVID-19. The UK is working closely with the Government of India to identify what support we can provide in the coming days, based on their most pressing needs. The UK was the first country to deliver life-saving medical equipment to India. The first shipment of equipment, including ventilators and oxygen concentrators from surplus stock, left the UK on Sunday 25 April 2021, and successfully arrived in New Delhi in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

As the Foreign Secretary set out in his Written Ministerial Statement on 21 April, global health security and responding to the COVID-19 crisis remains a priority for UK Aid. Following a thorough review, the FCDO's aid budget has been allocated in accordance with UK strategic priorities against a challenging financial climate of COVID. We are now working through what this means for individual programmes, in line with UK strategic priorities. The Official Development Assistance (ODA) budget for India, along with the final and audited spend for 2020/21, will be published in due course through the Statistics on International Development website and the FCDO annual report.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
26th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the implementation of the Child Marriage Restraint Act in Pakistan.

Pakistan's Child Marriage Restraint Act of 1929 sets the minimum marriage age at 16 years for girls and 18 years for boys. Sindh is the only province which has passed provincial legislation to increase the marriageable age to 18 years for both boys and girls. According to UNICEF's State of the World's Children report in 2017 18% of girls in Pakistan are married before the age of 18 years.

The UK Government is working to end the harmful practice of child marriage. Through our Aawaz II programme, we are generating data on the costs of child marriage to inform policy and are supporting dialogue for enactment of reformed Child Marriage Restraint Bills in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The programme is also working with communities to change social behaviours towards this issue. Our work also include collaboration with government and civil society to strengthen child protection institutions and Juvenile Justice System (including establishment of child courts) to improve delivery of services and rights for children.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
26th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the Written Statement of 21 April 2021, HCWS935 on FCDO update, how much and what proportion of Official Development Assistance he has allocated to the distribution of hospital equipment for the global response to covid-19 in (a) 2020-21 and (b) 2021-22.

It has not proved possible to respond to the Hon Member in the time available before Prorogation

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
26th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the Written Statement of 21 April 2021, HCWS935 on FCDO update, how much and what proportion of Official Development Assistance he has allocated to India to help ensure that hospital equipment is provided for covid-19 treatment in (a) 2020-21 and (b) 2021-22.

It has not proved possible to respond to the Hon Member in the time available before Prorogation

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
26th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the Written Statement of 21 April 2021 on FCDO update, Official Report HCWS935, how much Official Development Assistance has been allocated to support research conducted by COG-UK in (a) 2020-21 and (b) 2021-22.

It has not proved possible to respond to the Hon Member in the time available before Prorogation

James Duddridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
23rd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how many times (a) he, (b) Ministers of his Department and (c) officials of his Department have met with the Special Envoy for Girls Education to discuss the allocation of Official Development Assistance funding to girls education for 2021-22.

Since her appointment on 16 January by the Prime Minister as the Special Envoy for Girls' Education, Helen Grant MP has been supported by Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) officials, and works closely with the Foreign Secretary and myself.

She does not, however, have a role in girls' education funding decisions, and has not been part of the allocation process for 2021/22 Official Development Assistance. Her dedicated role supports and contributes strongly to a joined-up, UK Government promotion of the girls' education agenda, particularly in this critical year of UK leadership through our G7 Presidency, and co-hosting of the Global Education Summit.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant of the Written Statement of 21 April 2021 on FCDO update, Official Report HCWS935, how much and what proportion of the £419m of Official Development Assistance spending on Open societies and conflict resolution is allocated to the Conflict, Stability and Security Fund.

The Written Ministerial Statement of 2021 sets out the FCDO departmental ODA programme budget allocations. It does not include Conflict, Stability and Security Fund allocations, which are made separately by the Cabinet Office.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to his Written Statement of 21 April 2021 on UK Official Development Assistance departmental allocations 2021-22, Official Report, HCWS935, what the breakdown and allocation is of Official Development Assistance spending within the girls education budget.

The Foreign Secretary laid a statement before the House of Commons on 21 April 2021, setting out how he is directing the FCDO's aid portfolio this year. He announced that the FCDO will spend £400 million on girls' education, which will help achieve the global target to get 40 million more girls into education, and 20 million more reading in the next 5 years. FCDO will now work through what this means for individual programmes, in line with the priorities outlined.

Official Development Assistance (ODA) is reported on a calendar year basis. The FCDO National Statistics publication, 'Statistics on International Development,' next year will contain detailed breakdowns of the UK's ODA spend for 2021, including an activity level dataset. FCDO publishes regular open data through the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI). This operational data covers current live programmes, and will include 2021 spend once business planning is concluded. The raw data can be accessed at IATI Registry, and is shown on the Development Tracker website at https://devtracker.fcdo.gov.uk/.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant of the Written Statement of 21 April 2021 on FCDO update, Official Report HCWS935, what percentage difference is in ODA spending on Girls Education between 2021-22 and 2020-21.

The Foreign Secretary laid a statement before the House of Commons on 21 April 2021, setting out how he is directing the FCDO's aid portfolio this year. He announced that the FCDO will spend £400 million on girls' education, investing directly in over 25 countries, which will help to achieve the global target of getting 40 million girls into education. FCDO will now work through what this means for individual programmes, in line with the priorities outlined

Final audited spend for 2020/21 will be published in the Annual Report and Accounts. Final 2020 spend will be published in Statistics on International Development: Final UK Aid Spend 2020 in the autumn this year and will contain detailed breakdowns of the UK's ODA spend for 2020, including an activity level dataset.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant of the Written Statement of 21 April 2021 on FCDO update, Official Report HCWS935, how much of the Girls Education spending will be for projects in (a) Afghanistan, (b) South Sudan, (c) Sudan, (d) Yemen, (e) Somalia and (f) Myanmar.

The Foreign Secretary laid a statement before the House of Commons on 21 April 2021, setting out how he is directing the FCDO's aid portfolio this year. He announced that the FCDO will spend £400 million on girls' education, investing directly in over 25 countries, to help achieve he global target of getting 40 million girls into education. FCDO will now work through what this means for individual programmes in line with the priorities outlined.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant of the Written Statement of 21 April 2021 on FCDO update, Official Report HCWS935, what the specific value is of Official Development Assistance allocated to VSO.

The Foreign Secretary announced that we would provide funding to Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) this year in his statement on ODA allocations to Parliament on 21 April. We have offered VSO funding for the V4D programme until the end of this financial year 2021/22. Officials have also started discussions with VSO on our future relationship.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to his Written Statement of 21 April 2021 on UK Official Development Assistance departmental allocations 2021-22, Official Report, HCWS935, how much of the £419 million of Official Development Assistance being spent on Open societies and conflict resolution is allocated to programmes in Ukraine.

The 2021-22 ODA allocations will focus our investment and expertise on issues where the UK can make the most difference and achieve maximum strategic coherence, impact, and value for money. The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office will now work through what this means for individual programmes, in line with the priorities we have identified. Over the last year the UK provided a total of £40 million to support Ukraine's reform programme alongside broader UK conflict prevention and management objectives

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the effect of Eritrea's reported military actions in Tigray on the stability of the Horn of Africa.

We remain concerned about the impact of the continued fighting in Tigray on the wider stability in Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa. As I made clear to the Eritrean Ambassador on 16 March, and through joint statements at the Human Rights Council and by the G7 on 2 April, Eritrea's role in the Ethiopian conflict is particularly concerning. There are numerous reports of atrocities involving Eritrean forces, and the presence of Eritrean forces is fuelling insecurity. We have also received reports of Eritrean troops wearing Ethiopian National Defence Force uniforms, as well of new Eritrean forces deploying, both of which are deeply concerning. Eritrean forces must leave Ethiopia immediately, in line with the commitment made by Prime Minister Abiy in his announcement on 26 March. We are closely monitoring the situation and are clear that their withdrawal must be swift, unconditional and verifiable. We have yet to see any evidence that Eritrean forces are leaving Tigray and will continue pressing for this commitment to be delivered.

James Duddridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with his international counterparts on the naval and air blockade of Yemen.

The critical Red Sea ports of Hodeidah and Salif remain operational and the majority of Yemen's imports are getting in. On fuel imports, the UK alongside other international partners successfully lobbied the Yemeni Government to release seven fuel ships into Hodeidah in recent weeks, and I discussed this matter with Yemeni Foreign Minister Bin Mubarak on 24 March. The majority of access constraints faced by nine million Yemenis are, however, in Houthi-held areas according to the UN. We are clear that humanitarian aid must not be used as a political tool and we call on all parties to facilitate unhindered access for commercial and humanitarian actors.

The Houthis must work constructively with the UN and the Yemeni Government to negotiate a longer-term solution on Hodeidah port and bring an end to the conflict.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the National Security Curriculum in Hong Kong.

Article 10 of the Hong Kong National Security Law, requires the Hong Kong authorities to promote national security education in schools and universities and through social organisations, the media and the internet. As the Foreign Secretary made clear in his statement of 1 July 2020, this legislation constitutes a clear and serious breach of the Sino-British Joint Declaration, undermining Hong Kong's high degree of autonomy and its rights and freedoms. Separately, in his Foreword to the UK Government's Six Monthly Report on Hong Kong covering the period 1 January to 31 July 2020, the Foreign Secretary noted that the chilling effects of the National Security Law were already being seen in Hong Kong, including damaging freedom of expression in academia and schools.

As a co-signatory to the Joint Declaration, we have a duty to speak out when we have concerns. We will continue to bring together our international partners to stand up for the people of Hong Kong, to call out the violation of their freedoms, and to hold China to their international obligations it freely assumed under international law.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the World Health Organisation Director General's statement on 9 April 2021 on the imbalance in the global distribution of covid-19 vaccines.

The UK is committed to rapid, equitable access to safe and effective vaccines. We are proud of our £548 million commitment to the COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC), which is the largest and most rapid global vaccine rollout in history. Our commitment helped encourage other donors to commit $1 billion by the end of 2020, and our funding will contribute to the supply of at least 1.3 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines in 2021 for up to 92 developing countries. Over 100 countries and economies have received COVAX deliveries. The Prime Minister has also said that the UK will share the majority of future vaccine doses surplus to domestic needs with COVAX.

COVAX partners have supported the fastest global roll-out of new vaccines in history, but more needs to be done. We are working with our partners, including Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, WHO, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and others to accelerate the global production and supply of COVID-19 vaccines as a priority. On 15 April, I spoke at the AMC Investment Opportunity Launch supporting the COVAX Advance Market Commitment 2021 investment case. This will help secure a further $2 billion from donors for procuring 500 million more doses to increase vaccine coverage from 20% to 30% in developing countries in 2021.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions (a) he, (b) his Ministers and (c) his officials have had with representatives of (i) Ukraine and (ii) the Russian Federation on the escalating tensions on the border between those two countries.

Russia's build-up of military forces near the Ukrainian border and within illegally annexed Crimea indicates a troubling escalation in its ongoing campaign of aggression towards Ukraine and its militarisation of the illegally annexed peninsula.

There has been regular Ministerial and senior official level engagement with the Government of Ukraine and with our allies on this issue. The Foreign Secretary and the Defence Secretary spoke to their Ukrainian counterparts on 2 April and the Prime Minister had discussions with President Zelenskyy of Ukraine on 5 April to assure them of the UK's unwavering support for the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.

As a fellow Permanent Member of the UN Security Council, we engage directly with Russia on matters of international peace and security, including Ukraine. We continue to raise our concerns with the Russian government at every opportunity. On 15 April, the National Security Adviser spoke to his Russian counterpart, and the FCDO Permanent Under Secretary reiterated our concerns to the Russian Ambassador in London on the same day. Our Ambassador in Moscow has spoken to the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, mostly recently on 16 April, to express our deep concern about the build-up of Russian troops and the Ukrainian border, to reiterate our call for Russia to de-escalate, and to underline our support for Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity.

We will continue working closely with partners to monitor the situation, and consider all options.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how many times (a) he, (b) Ministers and (c) officials in his Department have held discussions with (i) Ministers and (ii) representatives of the Ethiopian Government since 3 November 2020 to date.

The Foreign Secretary visited Ethiopia on 22 January. He visited a humanitarian logistics hub in Gondar run by the World Food Programme, and heard first hand from our agency partners about the difficulties faced delivering life-saving assistance. The Foreign Secretary also met with Prime Minister Abiy, the President and Deputy Prime Minister. In these discussions, he underlined the UK's serious concern about the situation in Tigray. Alok Sharma, the President for COP26, visited Ethiopia on 28 January 2021 to build support for climate action. The UK's Special Envoy for Humanitarian Affairs and Famine Prevention, Nick Dyer, visited Ethiopia in December 2020 to discuss Tigray and other issues with UN and Ethiopian counterparts.

Ministers and senior officials have also had regular discussions with the Ethiopian Government since the conflict in Tigray began. I [Minister Duddridge] most recently spoke with the Ethiopian Ambassador to the UK on 24 February, and our Ambassador in Addis Ababa spoke with the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs on 15 April.

James Duddridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how many visits (a) he, (b) Ministers and (c) officials from his Department have made to Ethiopia since 3 November 2020 to date.

The Foreign Secretary visited Ethiopia on 22 January. He visited a humanitarian logistics hub in Gondar run by the World Food Programme, and heard first hand from our agency partners about the difficulties faced delivering life-saving assistance. The Foreign Secretary also met with Prime Minister Abiy, the President and Deputy Prime Minister. In these discussions, he underlined the UK's serious concern about the situation in Tigray. Alok Sharma, the President for COP26, visited Ethiopia on 28 January 2021 to build support for climate action. The UK's Special Envoy for Humanitarian Affairs and Famine Prevention, Nick Dyer, visited Ethiopia in December 2020 to discuss Tigray and other issues with UN and Ethiopian counterparts.

Ministers and senior officials have also had regular discussions with the Ethiopian Government since the conflict in Tigray began. I [Minister Duddridge] most recently spoke with the Ethiopian Ambassador to the UK on 24 February, and our Ambassador in Addis Ababa spoke with the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs on 15 April.

James Duddridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether his Department has conducted a review of existing arms export licences and arms export licensing policy in relation to Ethiopia since the outbreak of conflict in that country in November 2020.

The UK Government takes its export control responsibilities seriously and continues to monitor developments in Ethiopia very closely. We examine every licence application on a case-by-case basis against strict criteria, drawing on a range of sources in making assessments, including Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and international organisations, in addition to our diplomatic posts. All licences are kept under careful and continual review.

James Duddridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 22 March 2021 to Question 170728 on Official Development Assistance contracts, whether decisions have now been taken regarding programmes; and if he will make a statement.

Ministers are currently working with department officials to finalise ODA budget allocations for 2021/22. No final decisions have been made. When decisions are taken, we intend to work closely with our supply chain to implement any changes in accordance with the applicable contract.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 22 March 2021 to Question 170728 on Official Development Assistance contracts, what timeframe in days his Department considers to be reasonable notice of termination for contractors regarding the use of Official Development Assistance funding.

We are reviewing each contract on a case by case basis.

Once final decisions are made we will work collaboratively with our supply partners to amend or terminate programmes in accordance with the relevant contractual terms and conditions.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the reduction to Official Development Assistance funding to International Planned Parenthood Federation's women’s integrated sexual health programmes on cases of (a) HIV, (b) sexually transmitted diseases and (c) unintended pregnancies amongst women in conflict zones in (i) Ethiopia and (ii) Pakistan.

The UK is proud to defend universal access to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health and rights which is fundamental to the empowerment of women and girls. Global health, including sexual and reproductive health and rights, is a top priority for the FCDO.

As announced last year, the impact of the global pandemic on the UK economy has forced us to take the tough but necessary decision to temporarily reduce how much we spend on Official Development Assistance (ODA). We will temporarily move to a target of spending 0.5% of Gross National Income (GNI) on ODA, rather than 0.7%. This is a temporary measure and we will return to 0.7% when the fiscal situation allows. We are now working through the implications of these changes for individual programmes including on the Women's Integrated Sexual Health Programme (WISH). No decisions have yet been made on individual budget allocations.

James Duddridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of reports and video documentation of the arrest of five young Palestinian children aged 9-13 years who were reportedly interrogated and detained for approximately eight hours.

We repeatedly call on Israel to abide by its obligations under international law and have a regular dialogue with Israel on legal issues relating to the occupation, including the treatment of Palestinian children. We remain concerned about Israel's extensive use of administrative detention which, according to international law, should be used only when security makes this absolutely necessary rather than as routine practice and as a preventive rather than a punitive measure. We continue to stress the importance of the Israeli security forces providing appropriate protection to the Palestinian civilian population, in particular the need to protect children.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the reported detention of an eight-year-old and a ten-year-old by Israeli forces while the two children were playing near their house, what recent representations he has made to the Government of Israel about the detention of Palestinian children under the age of twelve.

We repeatedly call on Israel to abide by its obligations under international law and have a regular dialogue with Israel on legal issues relating to the occupation, including the treatment of Palestinian children. We remain concerned about Israel's extensive use of administrative detention which, according to international law, should be used only when security makes this absolutely necessary rather than as routine practice and as a preventive rather than a punitive measure. We continue to stress the importance of the Israeli security forces providing appropriate protection to the Palestinian civilian population, in particular the need to protect children.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the publication entitled Global Britain in a competitive age: the Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy, CP 403, published on 16 March 2021, what assessment he has made of the effect of the reduction in Official Development Assistance funding to International Planned Parenthood Federation's women’s integrated sexual health programmes on the Integrated Review's plans to improve global health.

The UK is proud to defend universal access to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health and rights which is fundamental to the empowerment of women and girls. Global health, including sexual and reproductive health and rights, is a top priority for the FCDO. The Integrated Review sets out UK priorities on global health, including support to health systems around the world.

The impact of the global pandemic on the UK economy has forced us to take the tough but necessary decision to temporarily reduce how much we spend on Official Development Assistance (ODA). We will temporarily move to a target of spending 0.5 per cent of Gross National Income (GNI) on ODA, rather than 0.7 per cent. This is a temporary measure and we will return to 0.7 per cent when the fiscal situation allows. We are now working through the implications of these changes for individual programmes, including on the Women's Integrated Sexual Health Programme (WISH). No decisions have yet been made on individual budget allocations.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether his Department has sought to meet with UK resident members of the (a) Bahrain Freedom Movement and (b) Bahraini pro-democracy movement.

I can confirm that we have sought no meetings with either of the groups in question.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he is taking to ensure that his Department will not breach any existing contractual funding agreements with third parties regarding the use of Official Development Assistance funding in the 2021-22 financial year.

No decisions have yet been taken regarding programmes. FCDO's Standard Terms and Conditions of Contract allow FCDO to terminate the contract at any time, giving reasonable notice to the supplier. When decisions are taken, we intend to work closely with our supply chain to implement any changes in accordance with the applicable contract.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
10th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the recent report by Israeli NGOs Yesh Din, Physicians for Human Rights Israel and Breaking the Silence, on the widespread practice of Israeli military invasions of Palestinian homes in the West Bank.

We are aware of the report by Yesh Din. We repeatedly call on Israel to abide by its obligations under international law and have a regular dialogue with Israel on legal issues relating to the occupation, including the Israeli security forces' rules of engagement. While we recognise Israel's legitimate need to deploy security measures, we encourage them to deploy these in a way which minimises tension and to use appropriate force.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
10th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the nine Palestinian children killed by Israeli forces in 2020, if he will make representations to the Government of Israel about the continued use of live ammunition against Palestinian children.

The Government is aware of the high numbers of Palestinians, including children, killed by Israel Defence Forces in the West Bank and Gaza. I expressed my sadness on hearing of the death of Palestinian child Ali Ayman Abu Alaya, following clashes between the Israeli Defence Forces and Palestinian civilians. We continue to urge Israel to ensure that its investigation into this case is swift and comprehensive. We also continue to stress the importance of the Israeli security forces providing appropriate protection to the Palestinian civilian population, in particular the need to protect children, and urge restraint in the use of live fire.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
10th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether his Department plans to (a) extend or (b) renew the Volunteering for Development grant for the Voluntary Service Overseas organisation beyond 31 March 2021.

The impact of the global pandemic on the UK economy has forced us to take the tough but necessary decision to temporarily reduce our aid budget.

We are now working through the implications of these changes for individual programmes, including for the Volunteering for Development grant. No decisions have yet been made.

We understand the need to communicate with VSO in a timely manner regarding this grant.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
10th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what representations he has made to his Israeli counterpart on reports that a 15-year-old boy, Ali Ayman Saleh Abu Alia, was shot with live ammunition by Israeli forces on 4 December 2020.

The Government is aware of the high numbers of Palestinians, including children, killed by Israel Defence Forces in the West Bank and Gaza. I expressed my sadness on hearing of the death of Palestinian child Ali Ayman Abu Alaya, following clashes between the Israeli Defence Forces and Palestinian civilians. We continue to urge Israel to ensure that its investigation into this case is swift and comprehensive. We also continue to stress the importance of the Israeli security forces providing appropriate protection to the Palestinian civilian population, in particular the need to protect children, and urge restraint in the use of live fire.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
10th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether his Department plans to pledge at least £600m to the replenishment of the Global Partnership for Education.

The Prime Minister and President Kenyatta of Kenya will co-host the Global Education Summit: Financing the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) in London in July 2021. The UK is GPE's largest bilateral donor. No decision has yet been taken on the UK's next contribution to GPE and details will follow in due course.

As co-hosts of the Summit we are using all the means at our disposal to help the Global Partnership for Education secure its five-year rolling target of up to $5 billion (2021-2026), in line with our commitment to stand up for the right of every girl around the world to gain 12 years of quality education.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
10th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, for what reason the new Special Envoy for Girls' Education does not have the same ministerial status and powers as her predecessor.

Since her appointment by the Prime Minister as the Special Envoy for Girls' Education on 16 January, Helen Grant MP has already made huge progress in making the case for the UK's priority in educating girls with a range of key partners and stakeholders.

The Special Envoy is supported by FCDO officials, and works very closely with the FCDO Ministerial team, including the Foreign Secretary and myself as well as regular engagement with Number 10. This dedicated role contributes strongly, and brings significant influence to a joined-up, senior Government promotion of the agenda, particularly in this critical year of UK leadership through our G7 Presidency, and co-hosting of the GPE Replenishment.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what plans his Department has to make representations to the Bahraini Government on the release of (a) Mohammed Jafar, (b) Fares Husain, (c) Sayed Hasan Ameen from prison.

We are aware of the detention of Mohammed Jafar, Fares Husain and Sayed Hasan Ameen. We understand the three, all aged 17, were arrested for arson, endangering the lives and property of others; and preparing and possessing Molotov cocktails and using them to endanger lives and property. Their cases are currently pending legal proceedings. We will continue to monitor and raise their cases if/when appropriate.

We welcome the recent ratification by HM The King of the 'Justice Law for Children and their protection from ill-treatment' and will monitor its implementation. We continue to encourage the Government of Bahrain to follow due process in all cases and meet its international and domestic human rights commitments, including in the case of juveniles. Those with concerns about treatment in detention should contact the relevant authorities as well as the appropriate Bahraini human rights oversight body.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what plans he has to make representations to the Bahraini Government before the hearing of Sayed Hasan Ameen takes place to secure his immediate release and to avoid his detention being renewed.

We are aware of the detention of Mohammed Jafar, Fares Husain and Sayed Hasan Ameen. We understand the three, all aged 17, were arrested for arson, endangering the lives and property of others; and preparing and possessing Molotov cocktails and using them to endanger lives and property. Their cases are currently pending legal proceedings. We will continue to monitor and raise their cases if/when appropriate.

We welcome the recent ratification by HM The King of the 'Justice Law for Children and their protection from ill-treatment' and will monitor its implementation. We continue to encourage the Government of Bahrain to follow due process in all cases and meet its international and domestic human rights commitments, including in the case of juveniles. Those with concerns about treatment in detention should contact the relevant authorities as well as the appropriate Bahraini human rights oversight body.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what representations his Department is making to the Bahraini Government on the (a) treatment of peaceful protest and assembly in that country and (b) risk that its application of alternative sentencing is discriminatory.

Bahrain is a Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office human rights priority country. We continue to monitor and encourage the government of Bahrain's delivery on its international and domestic human rights commitments.

We have consistently underlined, across the region, the importance of respect for the right to peaceful protest, freedom of speech freedom of assembly and the rule of law.

With UK support, Bahrain has successfully implemented new legislation allowing for alternatives to detention for some offences. Over 2,900 people have already benefitted from the introduction of these changes. We recognise this as a positive move to reform the judicial system. We continue to encourage Bahrain to monitor the impact of alternative sentencing, for example on re-offending rates, and to support its use in a forward looking way that fosters continuous evaluation and improvement.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what representations his Department is making to the Bahraini Government on securing the release of Abdulhadi Mushaima.

We understand that Abdulhadi Mushaima is in detention and due to be released on 17 May 2021. We will continue to monitor and raise this case if/and when appropriate.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
10th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what diplomatic steps his Department is taking to help secure the release of (a) Mohammed Rashid and (b) Hussein Ayoob who were detained in Bahrain on 7 February 2021.

We are aware of the detention of Mohammed Rashid and Hussein Ayoob and will monitor any developments.

As a matter of course we continue to encourage the Government of Bahrain to follow due process in all cases and meet its international and domestic human rights commitments, including in the case of juveniles. Those with concerns about treatment in detention should contact the relevant authorities as well as the appropriate Bahraini human rights oversight body.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to the Written Statement of 26 January 2021, Official Report, HCWS735, what estimate he has made of the allocation of Official Development Assistance across Departments for (a) climate and biodiversity, (b) covid and global health security, (c) girls’ education, (d) science and research, (e) defending open societies and resolving conflict, (f) humanitarian assistance and (g) promoting trade.

The Foreign Secretary has completed the cross-government review of how Official Development Assistance (ODA) will be allocated against the government's priorities for 2021, which has ensured that UK ODA is focused on our strategic priorities, spent where it will have the maximum impact, has greater coherence and delivers most value for money. Officials are now working through the implications of these allocations. No decisions on individual sectoral budgets have been taken yet by Ministers.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he has taken to help (a) establish an independent international body for the in-depth investigation of human rights violations in the context of the recent Belarusian presidential elections and (b) bring perpetrators of torture and inhuman treatment among the Belarusian security forces and their responsible superiors to justice.

The UK is deeply concerned by the torture and mistreatment of hundreds of protestors and other members of civil society, following the fraudulent elections in Belarus. We were the driving force behind the invocation of the Moscow Mechanism in the OSCE, triggering an independent investigation by Professor Wolfgang Benedek in to the election and the brutal suppression that followed. We have welcomed the findings and recommendations in Professor Benedek's report, including his call for the establishment of an independent international body for the in-depth investigation of human rights violations.

We are working closely with international partners and NGOs to this end. In September, the UK also co-sponsored an Urgent Debate on Belarus at the UN Human Rights Council which mandated the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to provide a comprehensive report on human rights violations in Belarus. The report is due in March.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to the Written Statement of 26 January 2021, Official Report, HCWS735, what the (a) percentage change and (b) real-terms change is in the allocation of Official Development Assistance to each Department for financial year 2021-22 compared to 2020-21.

HM Treasury are committed to publishing the 2020-21 allocations in due course. This will provide a comparison to 2021-22 allocations as set out in the Foreign Secretary's Written Statement.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
25th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether his Department was consulted on the appointment of former UK ambassador to Bahrain, Iain Lindsay, as an advisor to Bahrain’s Economic Development Board.

I can confirm the appointment went through the departmental business appointment rules process, as is normal practice, and was approved. Standard procedure is that this will be published in the next quarterly transparency return.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the report by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, Department of Health & Social Care, NHS England and NHS Improvement, and Public Health England, entitled Investigation into preparations for potential COVID-19 vaccines, what plans his Department has made to redistribute the UK's vaccine surplus to countries struggling to obtain sufficient supplies of covid-19 vaccines.

Equitable global access is an integral part of the UK's approach to vaccine development and distribution. The health of every country depends on the whole world having access to safe and effective vaccines. We are supporting the COVAX Facility as the best mechanism to deliver this, and have committed £548 million to its work in supporting access for low and middle income countries, which makes the UK one of its largest donors.

It is too early to determine how many doses of the vaccines that the UK has ordered will not be needed for domestic use. We are working through multilateral institutions, such as the UN and G20, as well as the World Health Organisation and other international partners like the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness (CEPI) and Gavi the Vaccine Alliance to support vaccine development, manufacturing scale-up, and distribution to meet domestic as well as international needs both now and in the future.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 11 January 2021 to Question 130827, when the (a) prioritisation exercise will be completed and (b) results of that exercise will be published.

The Prime Minister has set an ambitious agenda to increase UK impact overseas through closer integration of cross-Government activity. This includes all UK Missions working to a single, whole-of-government set of objectives for which the Head of Mission (HoM) is fully accountable. Whole-of-Government Country Plans will be crucial to delivering coherent, consistent and impactful international work. Ministers will be engaged during February and March so plans can be implemented in financial year 2021/22. We will confirm plans to publish in due course.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how many UK citizens have informed British consulates that they are stranded abroad since 21 December 2020.

The FCDO has handled over 25,000 enquiries between 21 December 2020 and 6 January 2021 from British people requiring Consular support, of which 4,000 are from British people impacted by COVID-19. This figure includes under 200 calls from those seeking advice on returning home either to the UK or overseas.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what the budget was for the Soft Power and External Affairs office within his Department in each year since 2010.

We have not included pre-2018 figures as staff numbers and departmental administration budgets in that period are not directly comparable.

Number of staff in soft power and external affairs teams

Admin budget of soft power and external affairs teams (£)

Programme budget of soft power and external affairs teams (£)(opening allocations)

FY 18/19 FCO

9

85,000

301,000,000

FY 19/20 FCO

12

75,000

304,000,000

FY 20/21 FCO(until 1 September 2020)

14

79,000

309,000,000

FY 20/21 FCDO(from 2 September 2020)

16*

79,000**

309,000,000

* This includes the FCDO Soft Power Team, and the external affairs function of the FCDO Corporate and Internal Communication Team, which includes former FCO and DfID staff.

** This only covers soft power. There is no separate budget for external affairs, since it is just one function of a team with other responsibilities.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how many staff were employed in the Soft Power and External Affairs office within his Department in each year since 2010.

We have not included pre-2018 figures as staff numbers and departmental administration budgets in that period are not directly comparable.

Number of staff in soft power and external affairs teams

Admin budget of soft power and external affairs teams (£)

Programme budget of soft power and external affairs teams (£)(opening allocations)

FY 18/19 FCO

9

85,000

301,000,000

FY 19/20 FCO

12

75,000

304,000,000

FY 20/21 FCO(until 1 September 2020)

14

79,000

309,000,000

FY 20/21 FCDO(from 2 September 2020)

16*

79,000**

309,000,000

* This includes the FCDO Soft Power Team, and the external affairs function of the FCDO Corporate and Internal Communication Team, which includes former FCO and DfID staff.

** This only covers soft power. There is no separate budget for external affairs, since it is just one function of a team with other responsibilities.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect of the reduction in the Official Development Assistance budget on the UK’s reputation as a global research and innovation leader.

The COVID-19 pandemic's economic impact has forced the Government to take the difficult decision to temporarily reduce ODA to 0.5% of Gross National Income (GNI). The Foreign Secretary has set out a strategic approach to ensure maximum impact for our aid spend. This includes the use of ODA to support research to identify what development interventions are most effective and to develop and test new technologies and innovations that can provide new solutions to critical challenges in development, such as climate change and infectious diseases.

Difficult decisions will be necessary, and we are currently running a prioritisation exercise on allocations, to ensure that every pound we spend on ODA goes as far as possible and has greatest impact. For this reason, I am not yet able to comment on the direct implications for specific programmes or activities.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether his Department plans to guarantee funding for successful international scientific research programmes and partnerships in light of the reduction in the Official Development Assistance budget.

The Foreign Secretary has set out a strategic approach to ensure maximum impact for our aid spend. This includes the use of ODA to support research to identify what development interventions are most effective, and develop and test new technologies and innovations, that can provide new solutions to critical challenges in development, such as climate change and infectious diseases.

Difficult decisions will be necessary, and we are currently running a prioritisation exercise on allocations, to ensure that every pound we spend on ODA goes as far as possible and has greatest impact. For this reason, I am not yet able to comment on the direct implications for specific programmes or activities.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect of the reduction in the Official Development Assistance budget on the UK’s reputation as a partner of choice in international research and development projects.

The COVID-19 pandemic's economic impact has forced the government to take the difficult decision to temporarily reduce ODA to 0.5% of Gross National Income (GNI). The Foreign Secretary has set out a strategic approach to ensure maximum impact for our aid spend. This includes the use of ODA to support research to identify what development interventions are most effective, and develop and test new technologies and innovations, that can provide new solutions to critical challenges in development, such as climate change and infectious diseases.

Despite the extremely tough fiscal position, Spending Review 2020 (SR20) sets out the government's plan to cement the UK's status as a global leader in science and innovation by investing £14.6 billion in R&D in 2021/22, an increase in government R&D investment that will allow us to support the [UK's] R&D system through this difficult period.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
4th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether Durham Constabulary has received Government funding to implement training in Bahrain since that constabulary was founded.

Durham Constabulary has not received Government funding to implement training in Bahrain.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
4th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the statement by Durham Constabulary on 11 July 2018, how much funding his Department has allocated to the Overseas Security and Justice Assistance training.

The published Overseas Security and Justice Assistance Human Rights Guidance is the practical tool that officials, and Ministers where appropriate, use to make decisions in order to ensure that our security and justice work meets our human rights obligations and values.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
4th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the statement by Durham Constabulary on 11 July 2018, whether the agreement his Department has with Durham Constabulary has changed since that statement.

Durham Constabulary does not have an agreement with FCDO to implement training in Bahrain.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
4th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether Durham Constabulary has received Government funding to implement training abroad since that constabulary was founded.

Durham Constabulary has not received Government funding to implement training abroad.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
4th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the statement by Durham Constabulary on 11 July 2018, which Ministers approved the Overseas Security and Justice Assistance assessment.

The Overseas Security and Justice Assistance assessment was approved by the then Minister for Security at the Home Office.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
23rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of the UK's licensing of arms sales to Saudi Arabia on the (a) peace process and (b) humanitarian situation in Yemen.

The Government takes its export responsibilities seriously and every licence application is rigorously assessed against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export licensing Criteria. We will not issue any export licences where to do so would be inconsistent with these criteria. We will not issue any export licences when there is a clear risk of a serious violation of International Humanitarian Law.

We fully support the peace process led by the UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths, and urge the parties to engage constructively with him. A political settlement is the only way to bring long-term stability to Yemen and to address the worsening humanitarian crisis. The humanitarian situation is dire, especially given the risk of famine. The UK has shown extensive leadership in response, committing £200 million in aid this financial year, which takes our total commitment to over £1 billion since the conflict began in 2015.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
11th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent diplomatic steps his Department has taken to tackle the human rights abuses in Indian-administered Kashmir reported by UN Special Rapporteurs on 4 August 2020.

We are aware of the statement written by UN Special Rapporteurs on 4 August. The UK recognises that there are human rights concerns in India-administered Kashmir. We encourage all states to ensure domestic laws are in line with international standards. Any allegation of human rights violations or abuse is deeply concerning and must be investigated transparently, promptly and thoroughly. We raise our concerns, where we have them, with the Government of India, including at ministerial level.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
11th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of different legislative options for imposing sanctions on China for breaching the terms of the Sino-British Declaration.

On 6 July, the Government established the Global Human Rights ('Magnitsky') sanctions regime by laying regulations in Parliament under the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018. This sanctions regime gives the UK a powerful new tool to hold to account those involved in serious human rights violations or abuses. We will continue to consider designations under the Global Human Rights Sanctions Regulations. As I stated to the House on 12 November in response to the Honourable Member's Urgent Question, it is not appropriate to speculate who may be designated under this sanctions regime in the future, as this could reduce the impact of the designations.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
9th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether the UK vetoed a proposal by the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs at the UN Security Council on a ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh at the most recent UN Security Council meeting.

The UK did not veto a proposal by the Co-Chairs regarding a UN Security Council Presidential Statement on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Regrettably, although the UN Security Council was united in seeking an end to the conflict, members were unable to reach an agreed version of the text.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
9th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, for what reason the period to submit evidence to the review of the Independent Commission for Aid Impact is limited to two weeks.

This is a short departmental review. The Review Team is consulting stakeholders including the International Development Committee, civil society, foreign policy professionals, and other government departments. In order to ensure as broad a consultation as possible in the short timeframe, the Review Team is also inviting written input for a limited period.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
2nd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether the (a) UK Ambassador to Iran or (b) other UK diplomatic personnel were present at the court hearing of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe on 2 November 2020.

It is appalling that Iran has brought new charges against Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe and threatened her with a return to prison. We had formally requested the UK Government's attendance to support her at her hearing through a Note Verbale to the Iranian Government, but we were not permitted access to the trial. We also summoned the Iranian Ambassador on 29 October to raise concerns over her treatment. We welcome the fact that her trial has been adjourned and she has not been sent back to prison for the moment - we have been consistently clear that she must not be re-incarcerated. We continue to raise her case at the most senior levels, and discuss it at every opportunity with our Iranian counterparts. The Foreign Secretary has done so repeatedly with Foreign Minister Zarif. Our Ambassador in Tehran consistently discusses all of our dual British national detainees with the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what representations he has (a) made to and (b) received from Canada on the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict.

The Foreign Secretary has issued two joint statements with the Canadian Foreign Minister including, mostly recently, on 6 October. We continue to urge de-escalation and a return to the negotiation table under the auspices of the OSCE Minsk Group.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what representations he has made to his Bahraini counterpart on whether the executions of Mohammed Ramadhan and Husain Moosa in Bahrain will be carried out imminently.

We have raised both cases at senior levels with the Government of Bahrain. Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, Minister responsible for Human Rights, raised the cases with the Bahraini Ambassador to the UK on 14 July. During the recent visit to the UK of Bahraini Foreign Minister Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani, I reiterated the UK's opposition to the use of the death penalty, in all circumstances.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what representations he has made to OSCE Minsk Group on the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict; and what plans he has for the UK's role in the event that that conflict continues to escalate.

The UK Delegation to the OSCE has issued three statements on the 29 September, 8 October and 15 October on the current conflict, urging de-escalation and an urgent return to the negotiation table under the auspices of the OSCE Minsk Group. The UK continues to support the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs of France, Russia and the United States as they look towards finding a peaceful settlement to the ongoing conflict.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he has taken to support Bahrain in providing urgent medical care to Dr Al-Singace in (a) 2019, (b) 2020 and (c) since 10 March 2020.

Responsibility for the provision of medical care to Dr Al-Singace lies with the Government of Bahrain, who have made clear that access to medical care for those in detention is guaranteed by the Constitution of Bahrain. We welcome these assurances from the Government of Bahrain.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 14 October 2020 to Question 101309, whether the Special Envoy for Gender Equality and the Special Envoy for Girls’ Education are (a) separate posts and (b) existing posts.

As I stated in my answer on 14 October, the Prime Minister appointed Baroness Sugg as Special Envoy for Girls' Education in March 2020. This is a separate role to the Special Envoy for Gender Equality. In this role Baroness Sugg works to accelerate progress towards getting marginalised girls into schools, staying there and staying safe, and benefitting from quality learning. She works closely with international partners to encourage greater global ambition, coordination, and investment on girls' education. The UK Government continues to build on our Strategic Vision for Gender Equality alongside our National Action Plan (NAP) on Women Peace and Security. Gender equality is and will continue to be a core part of the FCDO's work as a force for good in the world.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 14 October 2020 to Question 101309, whether the Special Envoy for Girls' Education is planned to replace the Special Envoy for Gender Equality.

As I stated in my answer on 14 October, the Prime Minister appointed Baroness Sugg as Special Envoy for Girls' Education in March 2020. This is a separate role to the Special Envoy for Gender Equality. In this role Baroness Sugg works to accelerate progress towards getting marginalised girls into schools, staying there and staying safe, and benefitting from quality learning. She works closely with international partners to encourage greater global ambition, coordination, and investment on girls' education. The UK Government continues to build on our Strategic Vision for Gender Equality alongside our National Action Plan (NAP) on Women Peace and Security. Gender equality is and will continue to be a core part of the FCDO's work as a force for good in the world.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what representations the Government has made to the Government of Zimbabwe on recent instability in that country.

I regularly engage with the Government of Zimbabwe to raise serious concerns about the political, economic and human rights situation in Zimbabwe. We have been clear that the Government of Zimbabwe must meet its international and domestic obligations by respecting the rule of law, safeguarding human rights, and committing to genuine political and economic reform for the benefit of all Zimbabweans. This is a prerequisite for further HMG support to the Government of Zimbabwe. I delivered these messages when I last spoke to Foreign Minister Moyo on 8 June, and in a letter I wrote to the Foreign Minister on 12 August. Our Ambassador in Harare reinforced these messages when she met in person with Foreign Minister Moyo on 14 August. She also raised concerns about Zimbabwe's chronic economic problems with Zimbabwean Finance Minister Mthuli on 28 September. We will continue to speak out, both privately and in public, where we have concerns including on abuses of human rights.

James Duddridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what representations the Government has made to the Nigerian Government on the Special Anti-Robbery Squad.

In response to recent incidents involving the Federal Special Anti-robbery Squad (FSARS), our High Commissioner responded publicly to urge police reform and has highlighted our concerns to the Nigerian authorities. We are monitoring the protests in response to these incidents closely. We urge the Nigerian security services to respect Nigerians' right to protest peacefully. The Nigerian police must uphold human rights and the rule of law in all operations, investigate any incidents of police brutality and hold those responsible to account. We welcome the Nigerian Government's swift response to the public outcry, including President Buhari's decision to disband FSARS.

The UK Government is working with the Nigerian Government and international and civil society partners to support broader police reform in Nigeria, building on the Police Establishment Act 2020 which came into force in September. We are developing proposals to support new police regulations to accompany the Act, to create a more accountable and responsive policing model in Nigeria.

James Duddridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps his Department has taken to help bring about a cessation to violence in Nigeria.

We are concerned by increasing insecurity in Nigeria. Intercommunal violence across multiple states continues to have a devastating impact on local communities. We engage closely with the federal government, state governments, international partners and the National Economic Council to push for solutions that address the root causes of intercommunal violence. For example, the UK provided technical support to help develop a National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP). The NLTP sets out a long-term approach to transition towards more sedentary forms of cattle-rearing to address competition over land: one of the root causes of intercommunal violence. The plan is being implemented in eight Middle Belt states. A number of other states have expressed interest and we are encouraging their adoption of the plan. We will continue to encourage the Nigerian Government to take urgent action to protect those at risk of intercommunal violence, bring perpetrators to justice and implement long-term solutions that address the root causes of the violence.

For over a decade, violence in North East Nigeria, conducted by terrorist groups, including Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa, has also had a devastating impact on local communities. We are committed to helping Nigeria respond to the terrorist threat in the North East. We provide a comprehensive package of security, humanitarian and stabilisation assistance to Nigeria to help tackle the threat and support affected communities.

James Duddridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
9th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 8 October 2020 to Question 97015, whether his Department plans to appoint a new Special Envoy for Gender Equality (a) before the end of 2020 and (b) within the next 12 months.

As I stated in my answer on 8 October, gender equality is a core part of the FCDO's work as a force for good in the world. Promoting gender equality and advancing women and girls' rights on the international stage remains a priority for the UK Government including fulfilling every girl's right to 12 years of quality education. The Prime Minister appointed Baroness Sugg as the UK Special Envoy for Girls' Education in March 2020. The UK Government continues to build on our Strategic Vision for Gender Equality alongside our National Action Plan (NAP) on Women Peace and Security.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
8th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how many air miles (a) Ministers, (b) special advisers and (c) civil servants in his Department took in (i) the last six months and (ii) each calendar year since 2015.

This information is not held centrally.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 1 October 2020 to Question 91717, how many (a) programmes and (b) civil servants there are supporting the work of his Department on tackling poverty overseas.

The FCDO is committed to tackling poverty and this is a key component of our mission. As at 1 September the FCDO employs over 7,500 Home Civil Servants and Diplomatic Service Staff, who are all working towards this goal.

Information on Official Development Assistance programmes managed by FCDO is published at https://devtracker.fcdo.gov.uk

James Duddridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to his Department’s speech transcript, UN Human Rights Council 45: UK statement on China for item 4 general debate published on 25 September 2020, what assessment his Department has made of the number of people detained without trial under Hong Kong's new National Security Law imposed by Chinese authorities and (b) what steps his Department is taking to address such a breach of the Sino-British Joint Declaration.

Beijing's imposition on Hong Kong of the National Security Law (NSL) is a serious breach of the legally binding Sino-British Joint Declaration. It violates the high degree of autonomy of executive and legislative powers and independent judicial authority, provided for in the Joint Declaration. We understand that as of 12 October 2020, one person has been charged under the NSL and denied bail. According to the Hong Kong Police Force's latest figures, a further 27 people have been arrested under the NSL and released on bail.

The Foreign Secretary set out his concerns about the situation in Hong Kong to Chinese State Councillor and Minister for Foreign Affairs Wang Yi on 8 June and 28 July. FCDO officials have also raised concerns about the arrests directly with the Hong Kong and Chinese authorities, making clear that due process must be followed in all cases. On 25 September, the UK raised concerns about the NSL in our national statement at the 45th session of the UN Human Rights Council on China, during the Item 4 general debate. On 6 October, we and 38 other countries expressed our deep concern on Hong Kong, Xinjiang and Tibet at the UN Third Committee.

The rights and freedoms of people in Hong Kong must be upheld. We will continue to bring together our international partners to stand up for the people of Hong Kong and to hold China to their international obligations.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of his Department's spending on management consultancy contracts (a) in the last year and (b) in each year since 2010.

Information on legacy FCO and DFID consultancy spend for the last financial year and all previous years can be found in the departmental annual reports and accounts published on GOV.uk.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 1 October 2020 to Question 91717, how much funding his Department (a) has allocated in the last five years and (b) plans to allocate in 2021-22 to tackle pollution overseas.

The UK Government provides extensive support for countries to cope with the effects of climate change, reduce pollution, and improve environmental standards. Reducing emissions and increasing the uptake of clean energy generation directly contributes to tackling air pollution. Since 2011, our International Climate Finance has avoided 31 million tonnes of emissions and installed 2,000 megawatts of clean energy. In the last 5 years the UK has spent £2.9 billion on climate change mitigation in many low- and middle-income countries. We have committed to doubling the UK's International Climate Finance to £11.6 billion between 2021/22 and 2025/26. FCDO is providing support to tackle air pollution in South Asia, where the threat to public health is particularly severe. This includes the development of urban air quality improvement plans, as well as reducing pollution associated with a range of manufacturing processes through the Sustainable Manufacturing and Environmental Pollution programme, which also operates in East and West Africa.

The UK Government is also supporting efforts to tackle plastics pollution and waste internationally. FCDO programmes have boosted research efforts, supported Ghana, Vanuatu and Uganda in testing new approaches to plastic alternatives, and will help communities in Haiti, Pakistan and Kenya with waste collection and recycling. The joint FCDO and DEFRA £500 million Blue Planet Fund will have a direct focus on combating pollution on land and sea. The UK has also committed £250 million, of which £150m is from FCDO, between 2018 and 2022 to the Global Environment Facility, which has ocean protection and tackling plastic pollution as major themes.

James Duddridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 1 October 2020 to Question 91717, which developing countries are in receipt of funding from his Department to tackle pollution.

The UK Government provides extensive support for countries to cope with the effects of climate change, reduce pollution, and improve environmental standards. Reducing emissions and increasing the uptake of clean energy generation directly contributes to tackling air pollution. Since 2011, our International Climate Finance has avoided 31 million tonnes of emissions and installed 2,000 megawatts of clean energy. In the last 5 years the UK has spent £2.9 billion on climate change mitigation in many low- and middle-income countries. We have committed to doubling the UK's International Climate Finance to £11.6 billion between 2021/22 and 2025/26. FCDO is providing support to tackle air pollution in South Asia, where the threat to public health is particularly severe. This includes the development of urban air quality improvement plans, as well as reducing pollution associated with a range of manufacturing processes through the Sustainable Manufacturing and Environmental Pollution programme, which also operates in East and West Africa.

The UK Government is also supporting efforts to tackle plastics pollution and waste internationally. FCDO programmes have boosted research efforts, supported Ghana, Vanuatu and Uganda in testing new approaches to plastic alternatives, and will help communities in Haiti, Pakistan and Kenya with waste collection and recycling. The joint FCDO and DEFRA £500 million Blue Planet Fund will have a direct focus on combating pollution on land and sea. The UK has also committed £250 million, of which £150m is from FCDO, between 2018 and 2022 to the Global Environment Facility, which has ocean protection and tackling plastic pollution as major themes.

James Duddridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
1st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps his Department and the diplomatic service are taking with (a) the Government of Cameroon and (b) President Biya to find a peaceful settlement to the conflict in that country.

The UK Government is deeply concerned about the situation the North-West and South-West (Anglophone) regions of Cameroon where high levels of violence have driven almost 740,000 people from their homes. The impact on civilians is tragic. Last month I [Minister Duddridge] announced £4.5 million in additional funding to humanitarian efforts in Cameroon, which will provide vulnerable people with vital food packs, sanitation provisions, medical supplies and fund training for health workers. This will bring our total humanitarian support to Cameroon to £13.5 million for 2020.

We continue to raise concerns about the crisis at the highest levels. In May I [Minister Duddridge] spoke to the Prime Minister of Cameroon and stressed the need for a peaceful resolution to the crisis. This message was reinforced by the British High Commissioner in Yaoundé when he spoke to President Biya in July, and to the Prime Minister of Cameroon in September, and urged the Government of Cameroon to engage in further, inclusive dialogue to address the root causes of the crisis. I [Minister Duddridge] have committed to visiting Cameroon soon and will again raise HMG's concerns about the crisis directly with the Government of Cameroon. The UK has shared experiences of conflict resolution with the Government of Cameroon, and through the British High Commission in Yaoundé we are also supporting local partners in their efforts to promote peace. We continue to urge all parties to remain engaged in ongoing Swiss-led efforts to facilitate talks and remain ready to support all credible peacebuilding efforts.

James Duddridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
30th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment his Department has made of the accuracy of reports of sexual abuse by aid workers in the Democratic Republic of Congo during the 2018 Ebola outbreak; and what steps his Department is taking to help tackle sexual abuse by aid workers during the covid-19 pandemic.

Sexual exploitation and abuse are completely abhorrent. We regularly assess all of our partners against the highest safeguarding standards and expect thorough investigations whenever allegations are made. We take these recent allegations in DRC very seriously; there is no reason to believe they are not credible. The World Health Organization and other agencies have confirmed that they are urgently investigating. We will scrutinise their findings closely and are in close contact with them.

The UK is committed to driving up safeguarding standards across the aid sector, during the COVID-19 pandemic and at all times. We're working with partners to: prevent sexual exploitation and abuse and sexual harassment; listen to those affected; respond sensitively but robustly when harm or allegations of harm occur; and learn from every case. We will continue to demand the highest standards of our partners and hold ourselves to those same high standards.

In March, the UK commissioned specific guidance for staff and external partners about managing the heightened risk of sexual exploitation and abuse and sexual harassment during the COVID-19 pandemic. This and a wide range of other tools and guidance are on the Safeguarding Resource and Support Hub, which FCDO created last year

James Duddridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
30th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps the Government has taken since (a) 2018 and (b) 31 December 2019 to tackle sexual abuse by aid workers.

Sexual exploitation and abuse are completely abhorrent. Since 2018, the Government has taken action to prevent abuse by aid workers and to improve the response when it happens. We introduced enhanced safeguarding standards and regularly assess partners against them. We created Project Soteria with Interpol to strengthen vetting of aid workers and information sharing among law enforcement agencies. We champion the Misconduct Disclosure Scheme which prevented 36 individuals from being offered aid sector jobs in 2019. We created the Safeguarding Resource and Support Hub which provides resources for all aid organisations. In October 2019 we published reports summarising work over the previous 12 months including these and many other measures.

In 2020 as well as continuing with the work above, the UK and 14 other donors agreed common language on safeguarding for funding agreements with multilaterals, aligned with international standards. The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office is finalising a programme to support victims and survivors. We regularly convene the groups who signed commitments at the October 2018 London Safeguarding Summit and will publish a further annual progress report this month. Last month the Government published a safeguarding strategy covering all UK aid spend which builds on commitments made at the 2018 Summit.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
30th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to his Department's press notice entitled New Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office will lead global action to ensure world’s poorest are protected from ravages of coronavirus and famine published on 2 September 2020, what estimate he has made of the potential number of (a) women and (b) girls that will benefit from the £119m funding package.

Tackling the increasing threat of famine and broader acute food insecurity is a key priority for the new Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. The UK's £119 million aid package will help alleviate extreme hunger for over 6 million people in Yemen, Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, Central African Republic, the Sahel, South Sudan and Sudan.

This includes assistance to women, girls and children. For example, as part of this aid package, the UK is supporting a partnership with UNICEF intended to leverage investments from others to collectively reach at least 4.3 million children per year with services to prevent acute malnutrition.

Additionally, our funding for the Sahel Region will provide nutrition screening to 526,250 children and mothers in this region, including emergency malnutrition response treatment to 25,914 children with severe acute malnutrition.

The aid package also includes funding for child protection which is expected to help 10,000 women and children in Somalia who are at risk of famine. Alongside this, we are a major contributor to, and supporter of, the UN's Global Humanitarian Response Plan, which supports the most vulnerable people in the COVID-19 crisis, including women and girls.

James Duddridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
30th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to help prevent sexual abuse by people employed by (a) NGOs and (b) the UN who are delivering (a) UK Official Development Assistance and (b) UK funded humanitarian assistance.

Safeguarding remains a top priority for the FCDO and we require all partners, including NGOs and the UN, to adhere to the highest standards of safeguarding against sexual exploitation and abuse and sexual harassment (SEAH). FCDO monitors compliance throughout all programmes and staff are provided with guidance and training to do that. If partners do not meet our high standards, we will take swift and robust action.

FCDO convenes eight sets of organisations - including NGOs and the UN - to discuss delivery of the commitments made at the UK-led 2018 Safeguarding Summit to prevent and better respond to SEAH and we publish an annual progress report. FCDO funds initiatives to help partners meet our standards, including the Resource and Support Hub which offers guidance, tools and analysis, focusing on grassroots organisations in developing countries.

FCDO is supporting initiatives to prevent perpetrators of sexual abuse moving around the sector, including the Misconduct Disclosure Scheme which in 2019 prevented 36 people with a history of misconduct from being offered aid sector jobs.

The UK supports safeguarding capability-building initiatives in the UN and uses UN Executive Board discussions and joint initiatives with other major donors to ensure continued focus and improvement in this area.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he is taking to help ensure that food shortages and famine in Sub-Saharan Africa does not result in increased sexual exploitation of adolescent girls in that region.

We are closely monitoring the food security situation in sub-Saharan Africa, where over 72 million people are estimated to be in crisis levels of food insecurity, with women and girls disproportionately affected. Climate shocks, an unprecedented locust outbreaks and the impact of COVID-19 are likely to increase needs and widen gaps in gender inequality.

The UK is a leading humanitarian donor, with protection at the heart of what we do. Addressing the needs of women and girls is central to our approach. We have committed £119 million to combat the threat of famine and appointed the first Special Envoy for Famine Prevention and Humanitarian Affairs. Our funding will include life-saving nutrition services for mothers and children. We ensure a robust gender analysis when addressing chronic hunger and its broader underlying drivers. We invest in gender-responsive social protection. This helps protect and build the resilience of poor and vulnerable families, reducing negative coping mechanisms, such as the exchange of sex for food, water and basic needs.

We remain committed to improving safeguarding standards across the aid sector and to a zero-tolerance approach to help prevent sexual exploitation and abuse and sexual harassment.

James Duddridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what his timescale is for appointing a new Special Envoy for Gender Equality.

Gender equality is a core part of the FCDO's work as a force for good in the world. The UK has a proud track record in a number of areas. For example, the right of every girl around the world to receive 12 years of quality education remains a top priority. The Prime Minister appointed Baroness Sugg as the UK Special Envoy for Girls' Education in March 2020. Between 2015 and 2020, we supported 8.1 million girls gain access to a decent education. Our Strategic Vision for Gender Equality reflects and responds to the UK Government's ambitions and works alongside our National Action Plan (NAP) on Women Peace and Security.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the effect of food shortages and famine in Sub-Saharan Africa on women and girls in that region.

We are closely monitoring the food security situation in sub-Saharan Africa, where over 72 million people are estimated to be in crisis levels of food insecurity, with women and girls disproportionately affected. Climate shocks, an unprecedented locust outbreaks and the impact of COVID-19 are likely to increase needs and widen gaps in gender inequality.

The UK is a leading humanitarian donor, with protection at the heart of what we do. Addressing the needs of women and girls is central to our approach. We have committed £119 million to combat the threat of famine and appointed the first Special Envoy for Famine Prevention and Humanitarian Affairs. Our funding will include life-saving nutrition services for mothers and children. We ensure a robust gender analysis when addressing chronic hunger and its broader underlying drivers. We invest in gender-responsive social protection. This helps protect and build the resilience of poor and vulnerable families, reducing negative coping mechanisms, such as the exchange of sex for food, water and basic needs.

James Duddridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the Department for International Development's Strategic Vision for Gender Equality: Her Potential, Our Future published in March 2018.

The Strategic Vision for Gender Equality was DFID's guiding document on gender equality but it also reflects and responds to the UK Government's ambitions on this agenda.

We are incredibly proud of what has been achieved under the Strategic Vision. Since its launch in 2018, for example, the UK has supported 2.5 million girls to access education, we have announced £67.5 million to prevent violence against women and girls, the biggest ever investment by a single government, and in 2019-20 alone, we supported 25.4 million women to access modern methods of family planning, helping to save thousands of lives.

The UK Government remains steadfast in its commitment to advancing gender equality and women and girls' rights. The FCDO will refresh and build on existing strategies, as well as develop new approaches. We are also responding to the NAO's review of our work on gender published in April. The challenges of advancing girls' education, sexual reproductive health and rights, women's political empowerment, women's economic empowerment and ending violence against women and girls, are as acute now, if not more so, as when we published the strategy.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether the Government is providing support overseas to tackle (a) historical carbon emissions and (b) factory toxic and non-toxic waste resulting from UK (i) infrastructure projects and (ii) consumer demand.

The UK's domestic commitments on climate and environment, such as our legislated target for net zero emissions by 2050, and the Environment Bill, have put UK industry at the forefront of low carbon technological innovation and environmental standards. The Government supports UK industry to export these strengths abroad and requires UK companies operating abroad to apply the highest climate and environmental standards.

For example, the Department for International Trade provides dedicated support for UK companies in waste management and hazardous waste supply chains. UK Export Finance is committed to high standards of environmental, social and human rights risk (ESHR) management. It employs a specialist ESHR team to review projects prior to taking a decision on whether to provide support and monitors to ensure compliance. In addition, the Government's Clean Growth Strategy sets out how carbon pricing will continue to incentivise industrial emissions reductions.

The Government provides extensive support for countries to tackle emissions, cope with the effects of climate change, reduce pollution from industry, and improve environmental standards. Since 2011, we have supported 66 million people to cope with the effects of climate change and avoided 31 million tonnes of emissions thanks to our international climate finance, which we have committed to doubling to £11.6 billion between 2021/22 and 2025/26. FCDO's funding to tackle pollution overseas, including the Sustainable Manufacturing & Environmental Pollution programme, will reduce pollution associated with a range of manufacturing process in developing countries across Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

James Duddridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether the Government’s aid and development strategy will distribute funding to offset the energy support monies spent on fossil fuels abroad between 2010 and 2018 to countries affected by the consumption of those fuels.

Countries need reliable and sustainable supplies of energy if they are to tackle poverty effectively by growing their economies and creating jobs, and delivering essential services. UK aid increasingly supports renewable energy projects. Since 2011, the UK has provided 33 million people with improved access to clean energy, avoided 31 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions and installed 2,000 MW of clean energy capacity.

The Government has announced that the UK will double our international climate finance to £11.6 billion between 2021/22 and 2025/26. A significant proportion of this funding will be invested in clean energy, including up to £1 billion in developing and testing new technology in areas such as energy storage, innovations in renewable energy and technologies for industrial decarbonisation. This funding for innovation is targeted at supporting the clean energy transition in developing countries, by creating and demonstrating new technologies and business models to deploy them.

In the 2019 Green Finance Strategy, the Government committed to aligning the UK's Official Development Assistance with the goals of the Paris international climate change agreement, including our support for energy. The UK keeps its balance of support for overseas projects under constant review to ensure alignment with government priorities, including on climate change.

James Duddridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps his Department is taking with other Departments to protect the UK from cyber security breaches carried out by (a) Russia and (b) other countries.

We are vigilant to these threats, wherever they come from, and ready to defend against them through the world-leading National Cyber Security Centre and investing £1.9 billion through the National Cyber Security Strategy. We have made the UK a hard target and raised the cost for those who would do us harm. We prepare so that we can respond effectively to minimise loss or disruption should they get through. We work closely with allies to deter, mitigate and attribute malicious cyber activity. The best way to deny states and others the opportunity to cause disruption is for organisations and individuals to reduce the chances of their data being stolen, working with our National Cyber Security Centre. As cyberspace is essentially borderless, any mitigations or solutions need to be international - it is a foreign policy issue as much as a technical one.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to his Answer of 6 July 2020 to Question 60661 on Renewable energy, what plans his Department has to install solar panels and wind turbines on its (a) UK Estate and (b) overseas estate buildings in the next five years.

The Government is committed to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050. This includes taking action to increase the use of renewable energy across the Government estate. Where this relates to solar panels and wind turbines on buildings occupied by the FCO, active consideration will be given to installation

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
8th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he has made to the Government of Israel on humanitarian access to all parts of (a) the West Bank and (b) the Gaza strip in the event of annexation.

We are concerned about the humanitarian situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, and caution against anything that could exacerbate this. Our priority and focus is on preventing annexation. We continue to urge Israel not to take these steps. The Prime Minister has conveyed the UK's opposition to unilateral annexation to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu on multiple occasions, including in a phone call on 6 July and a letter in June. The Prime Minister also urged Israel not to proceed in an article in Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth on 1 July. The Foreign Secretary reiterated this message in his calls with Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Gantz and Foreign Minister Ashkenazi.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)